If you have suffered from a physical injury because of an employee’s actions, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for your losses from that employee or contractor and the business that employs them.
The route you take to seek compensation will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your accident. One potential course of action is bringing a civil claim against an employer based on the theory that they are responsible for the actions of an employee who they negligently hired, supervised, or trained.
Essentially, this type of suit involves stating that the employer knowingly hired someone who was unfit for the job or failed to provide proper supervision or training and that this negligence resulted in your suffering.
If you were a victim of negligent hiring in New York, a lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates might be able to help. Since 1988, our team has advocated for victims’ rights, helping them seek just compensation for their losses. We hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Consider calling the office at (212) 732-2929 to speak with a staff member about your case and to explore your options.
Understanding Negligent Hiring
The law requires employers to practice due diligence in hiring, training, and supervising employees and independent contractors. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) outlines some of the steps employers should take to avoid negligence. Negligent hiring often occurs when an employer fails to uphold their responsibility and hires or retains a staff member who is unfit for the position, with knowledge of their unfitness.
When determining if an employee is fit for employment, the employer should consider the nature of the job and the employee’s ability to competently fulfill the job’s essential functions (with minimal risk of harm to themselves or others). If an employer knows the employee does not meet these criteria, they should not hire them or keep them employed.
For example, most employers conduct background checks and reference checks as a standard part of the hiring process. If they find an employee has a history of violence, poor driving history, or dangerous inclinations through these inquiries, they must consider this risk. If an employer decides to hire them anyway and someone is injured, the employer may be liable.
Industries in Which Negligent Hiring Can Be an Issue
Negligent hiring can occur in some industries that involve employee driving, having access to others’ homes, places of business, or money, and those involving caring for others. These can include:
- Nursing homes and in-home care
- Truck drivers
- Housing, real estate, and rental management
- Delivery services
- Maintenance and utility services
- Premises security
- Foster care
- School or daycare services
This list is not comprehensive. Most industries could be susceptible to negligent hiring issues. Get in touch with a member of the Dansker & Aspromonte Associates team to go over your case.
Call (212) 732-2929 to get started by discussing how a lawyer could help you.
Why You May Need to Prove Negligent Hiring
New York State law holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions in most cases, but not all. This theory of liability for an employee is called vicarious liability or respondeat superior. As the Legal Information Institute (LII) explains, this legal doctrine holds employers or principals responsible when their employee acts as an agent of that employer or principal—as long as the employees’ actions take place within their employment scope.
Generally, if the employee is acting outside the scope of their employment, respondeat superior does not apply and the employer is not liable. Operating outside the work scope includes incidents in which an employee breaks the law, defies company policy, or ignores company safety protocols.
An Example of How Negligent Hiring Can Lead to Injuries
For example, suppose you get into a verbal altercation with another patron at a bar. The bouncer asks you to leave. Believing the other party, not you, should be ousted, you voice your disagreement to the bouncer. This leads to a verbal altercation with the bouncer, who ends up punching you in the nose. If you sustain a broken nose and high hospital and medical bills, you may wish to seek compensation from the bar where you sustained injuries. But when you attempt to seek compensation from the bar’s insurance company, it may claim that the bouncer acted outside the scope of his employment and that the bar is not liable for the harm the bouncer caused.
In this case, you may want to see if the bar was negligent in its hiring practice. For instance, you might find that the bouncer has a history of violence, evidenced by a criminal record or terminations from past jobs. An employer should be aware of these kinds of factors when hiring an employee. So, you may be able to prove the bar was negligent when they hired him despite evidence of risk.
Factors a Plaintiff Must Establish in a Negligent Hiring Claim
Proving negligent hiring typically requires extensive investigation. It may be time-consuming and exhausting to collect documents, such as court and employment records, and to interview witnesses. A New York negligent hiring lawyer can take the burden off your shoulders and streamline the process so that you can spend less time investigating and more time focusing on recovery.
To establish the foundation for a negligent hiring, training, or retention case, a plaintiff must prove four elements:
- The employer is responsible for hiring competent employees who pose little or no risk to others;
- The employer failed to uphold this responsibility;
- That breach of duty resulted in hazardous conditions that led to the plaintiff’s injury;
- The plaintiff’s losses are significant enough to justify seeking legal recourse and monetary awards.
To prove the above, a lawyer will consider whether the following instances occurred.
The Employer Did Not Act Responsibly During the Hiring Process
If the employer did not conduct a background check and hired someone with a criminal history, which led to an incident related to their past crimes, this is some evidence of negligence.
The Employer Retained an Employee Who Was Facing Legal Charges
If so, the employer may be responsible if the employee harms someone in an incident related to their legal issues.
The Employer Failed to Properly Train an Employee
This may fall under negligent training. In these situations, an incident may not be an employee’s fault, but rather the company’s responsibility for failing to equip them with the tools necessary to do their job competently and safely.
The Employer Failed to Sufficiently Supervise an Employee
Companies are required to provide adequate supervision to ensure there are no unsafe or otherwise adverse conditions or behaviors. Otherwise, if an incident occurs, the employer may be liable for negligent supervision.
Contact a Dedicated and Experienced New York Negligent Hiring Lawyer
If you have been injured as the result of the actions of a negligent employee, our lawyers are here to help. Dansker & Aspromonte Associates has been fighting for victims of negligent hiring since 1988 and helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. You may be entitled to substantial money damages for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other injuries.
Call us at (212) 732-2929 to speak with a staff member. The consultation is free and if we agree to accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We only earn a legal fee when we recover compensation for you. Don’t delay, however. There are deadlines that limit your rights. If you fail to file your claim by the deadline, you can be barred from recovering the compensation you deserve. Call today.