HR Management & Compliance

Employment Law Tip: Avoiding Negligent Hiring Claims

If you hire an employee who later turns out to be violent—and maybe injures a co-worker or a customer—you could get slapped with a negligent hiring lawsuit. How can you avoid this situation? Here are some steps to take:

  1. Conduct thorough background checks. Look for past criminal convictions that could indicate a violent past, and be sure to question applicants about gaps in their employment history. Verify professional degrees and licenses, and be sure to call previous employers to check references. Pay attention to any clues that an applicant might have a violent past, such as statement from a former supervisor that the person couldn’t get along with others or had a temper.
  2. Monitor new employees’ behavior and take immediate steps to investigate if he or she makes threats, has outbursts, or
    exhibits other troubling or violent conduct.
  3. Take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action—up to and including termination—against an employee who shows signs of violent behavior.

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Additional Resources:

Employee Complaints: An Investigation and Action Guide Special Report


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