Employees Can Create Chaos For Your Company – Be Careful In Hiring, Use A Background Check Company
Did you know that if you are a business owner and one of your employees hurts someone while they are working, you can be held responsible? Whether the injured party is a co-worker or a customer, if your employee was on the clock, lost his temper and caused an injury, you or the business may be held liable. The same thing can apply to an employee who is involved in a car accident while performing work related duties. According to Nolo.com, an online legal web page, “Under a legal doctrine sometimes referred to as “respondeat superior”, an employer is legally responsible for the actions of its employees.” They do go on to mention that this is only when the employee is working. With employers being accountable for the actions of their employees, it is imperative that a background check company is utilized to complete a pre-employment screening for prospective new hires.
Pre-employment screening and background checks vet a candidate before you actually bring them onto your staff. You can often choose how in-depth you would like the background check company to go in their search process. Depending on the job you are wanting done, you may only want a local criminal history check completed. If, on the other hand, the employee will be driving a company vehicle you would want to have a thorough driving history researched. Perhaps the job you are filling requires a state certification such as a barber or a day care worker. A background check company can verify certificates and licenses an applicant may indicate they possess on their application. Another thing to consider is where your business is located. If your business is in the vicinity of a school, it could be extremely important that you have a sex offender registry check completed.
Don’t think you need to be concerned about a lawsuit because of the actions of an employee? In a January 28, 2016 article in eater.com, a Fresno Police Officer is suing McDonald’s after being attacked by an employee. The officer responded to a call about a fight between two employees and in the process of trying to break up the fight the officer was punched several times. According to the article, “It suggests that McDonald’s was aware that Deel had “violent tendencies” and suffered “from a mental condition that made him a danger to himself and others.” According to hrmorning.com, in 2009 a company was sued and lost after a company employee who was on call hit another car while driving drunk. The employee was driving his own car, but was carrying a company issued cell phone and pager because he was on call at the time. The final verdict required the company to pay $300,000 to the victim.
In both cases the actions of an employee are the catalyst for a lawsuit against the employer. It is not clear from the articles that a pre-employment screening would have uncovered anything in the past of any of the employees. However, the possibility remains that a background check company may have uncovered something and flagged the candidate before a hiring decision was made. If you notice in the McDonald’s case it is alleged that the employee had violent tendencies. It is possible that this person had a criminal history the reader is not made privy to. In the vehicle accident, I have to wonder if this is the first time the driver has been guilty of driving under the influence. Perhaps he has had other activity on his driving record that might have caused concern for the employer if a background check company had uncovered it.
Don’t let your company become the target of a lawsuit due to the actions of an employee with a checkered past. A thorough pre-employment screening can provide you with the history you need to make an informed decision about an applicant.
Pre-employment screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.