No Negligent Hiring For Sexual Assault Where Employee’s Prior Misconduct Was Improper But Not Sexual In Nature, New Jersey District Court Holds

In Gargano v. Wyndham Skyline Tower Resorts, a manager of a cleaning services company assigned to a Wyndham casino sued Wyndham for negligent hiring after she was sexually assaulted by a Wyndham employee. 2012 WL 5388949 (D.N.J., November 2, 2012). Wyndham allegedly learned during the hiring process that the accused had two prior workplace incidents (shoving a linen bin and, allegedly, an elevator attendant out of anger; and defying a supervisor) but proceeded to hire him anyway. Several months later, the sexual assault allegedly occurred. The district court rejected the plaintiff’s negligent hiring claim because the incidents of aggression and defiance—assuming Wyndham was aware of them—were not sexual in nature and therefore did not make the unfortunate sexual assault foreseeable.

Note: This article was published in the December 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.