Employers are legally required to exercise good judgment in the hiring process. While there may be many other reasons, the chief reason is negligent hiring - which statistics show is the cause for approximately a third of all business failures and certainly contributory to a preponderance of lawsuits nationwide today. Negligent hiring is a cause of action in tort law that arises where one party is held liable for negligence because they placed another party in a position of authority or responsibility, and an injury resulted because of this placement. Negligent hiring is generally found where the employee who actually caused the injury had a reputation record that showed his/her propensity to misuse the kind of authority given by the employer, and this record would have been easily discoverable by that employer had a diligent search been conducted.
The preventive measure for negligent hiring is to perform a background check on all potential employees, and if an adverse assessment is found to deny employment. Simply defined, background checks are the process of looking up official and commercial records in order to determine a person’s eligibility to he hired. This certainly will not guarantee the employer will not be held liable, but it will show that the employer used a diligent search to screen potential errant applicants from the workplace.