In 2005, a cable repairman visited a young man’s home to conduct Internet service repairs. Upon entering the home, the repairman assaulted and eventually killed the young man. The repairman was later convicted of first-degree murder. Now, the young man’s family is asserting a civil lawsuit against the company that employed the repairman, as well as the company’s subcontractor. The lawsuit claims that the company, and its subcontractor, negligently hired the repairman by failing to conduct an adequate background check before offering him employment. Had they performed an adequate screening, the lawsuit alleges, they would have found the repairman had 12 prior felony convictions and therefore the company should not have allowed the repairman to visit customers’ private homes.
In light of cases such as this, employers should familiarize themselves with the status of negligent hiring laws, as well as some best practices for screening and hiring applicants.
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