In an age when employers have an increasing number of incidents of workplace violence due to negligent hiring practices, employers are finding themselves caught in expensive lawsuits because they did not develop a pre-employment screening procedure that was sound and had the best interest of the safety of their employees and customers.
Had these employers taken the time to hire a qualified employment screening agency, they may have been able to prevent costly lawsuits.
News of violence on the job has become a regular headline in today’s society. Studies have shown that thousands of people are the victims of workplace violence. There are many more occasions of workplace violence reported than ever before. Another statistic that you may find disturbing is that even more companies are finding themselves on the defense from a negligent hiring lawsuit.
Proof of violence in the workplace
An example of this type of violent behavior would be case by the appellate court in Illinois; a supermarket was sued and found liable for the injuries sustained to a 4 year old child at one of its stores. The manager for the store stopped by his store after drinking alcohol. He caught an older child urinating on the side of the store. In a flash of fury he ran after the boy, yelling racial insults at the boy’s mother. He proceeded to pull the 4 year old child out of the car and throw him to the ground. Evidence during the trial showed that the manager had prior instances of violence; he had once thrown a milk crate at an employee as well as being convicted of aggravated battery for attacking his own son. In this case, the jury awarded the plaintiff $150,000.
You can see how negligent hiring lawsuits can cost your company a lot of money. Friends and coworkers knew of these incidents but the supermarket owner did not screen the manager’s background and criminal record before hiring him. The company was charged with negligent behavior of a manager.
How to prevent Negligent Hiring
If you are a human resources manager, you should formulate a pre-employment screening procedure and require all employees to submit to background checks. To avoid liability, do not hire those who have violent behavior charges in their past.
Every year many people are the victims of violence at work. Crime in the workplace causes a lot of problems that could all be avoided with a quick click on your keyboard. Utilizing a professional employment screening company and researching the facts about a person’s background can help to protect your company. The best precaution you can take is not to hire a person if you find out they have violence in their past.