Negligent hiring is a legal action taken by an employee claiming an employer should have known that the employee was a potential risk if they had conducted the proper background screening checks. At the end of the day, as an employer, you can avoid a negligent hiring claim if you establish the right screening process for each employee before their official start date. These preventative measures are particularly important for any employee who will have a lot of public contact or someone who enters the homes of clients.
While it may be standard practice for many employers to perform pre-screening background checks before employment, continuous background checks throughout employment is growing in popularity. Background checks are used to seek out red flags or warning signs in potential employees that could lead to theft, violent acts, sexual abuse and harassment. Continuous background checks are believed to reveal incidents that may have been overlooked initially or new incidents that may have occurred during one’s employment history. It is advised that you properly train the HR individuals who review this information so that employees are not wrongfully terminated because HR does not understand the meaning of the results and certain misleading terminology.
Drug testing is a necessary expense that will save you money in the long term. When people are abusing drugs they are more likely to miss work, be tempted to commit a crime at work for fast cash, become less productive, increase health insurance costs and increase the risk for accidents at the workplace. The best way to prevent any of these incidents is to conduct drug testing for all employees rather than just those who work with heavy machinery. You will have to determine which type of drug test is right for your people. The most common options for drug testing include urine, blood, sweat, hair follicle and oral fluid. Urine drug testing is the most popular due to its significantly lower testing cost. However, if you wish to test for more extensive drugs over a much longer period of time, some testing methods such as hair follicle testing is more effective. Drug testing, even urine, can determine whether or not an employee has consumed illegal drugs, as well as prescription medication whether legal or not.
It is important to note that if a physical exam is not required by the state or the federal government for a specific job, you must receive consent from an employee for the exam to take place. You must also ensure that all other employees with the same job are subject to the same physical exam. All results and access to medical history must be stored separately from general employee records. And, results are not to be used as a way to discriminate against an employee for any reason. The sole reason for a physical exam is to determine whether or not a person possesses the ability to complete the job tasks at hand. Any other information discovered during the exam is confidential and irrelevant to the status of employment.
Some employers are choosing to skip checking references because the vast majority of the time people only list individuals who have positive remarks to contribute. Such actions can make you liable and culpable of negligent hiring. Valuable information can still be obtained by contacting references. You can verify whether or not the information provided on their resume or application is factual, and you can verify that the skill set for the job is actually a match rather than an exaggeration. It is also a superior way to gauge the genuine reaction of the reference toward the potential employee based on their tone.
In addition to protecting your company from a legal perspective, following a formal employment pre-screening process will improve productivity and reduce costs such as rehabilitation treatment and missed work days. When you hire the right individuals for the right teams you increase job satisfaction which directly affects your bottom line in a highly positive manner.