Understanding The Three Elements Of Negligent Hiring
Posted on: 29 July 2015
An employer who hires an unfit employee can be held responsible for injuries and damages caused by the unfit employee. This is based on the principle of negligent hiring. If you are injured by such an employee, then there are three elements that you need to prove to hold his or her employer responsible for negligent hiring:
Employee Is Unfit For the Employment
This means the employee is unfit for the particular job he or she was hired to do. There are many things that may make a person unfit for a job. For example, a person may be unfit for a particular job if he or she
- Doesn't have the necessary education
- is mentally or physically sick
- is not certified for it
For example, to work in a nursing home, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) must be licensed in the state in which he or she wishes to work. Therefore, if a nursing home hires a nurse that does not have its state's licensed, then it is practicing negligent hiring.
Employer Has Knowledge of the Employees Unfitness
The other requirement is that the employer must have either actual or constructive knowledge of the employee's unfitness. Actual knowledge means that the employer is aware of the fact that the person he or she is hiring is not fit for the job.
Consider a situation in which an experienced LPN convinces a nursing home to hire him or her by claiming that his or her years of experience in another nursing home more than makes up for the lack of a license. If the nursing home goes ahead and hires the unlicensed LPN, then it is engaging in negligent hiring because it actually knows that the nurse is unfit for the work.
Constructive knowledge, on the other hand, means that the employer should be aware of the employee's unfitness. The law assumes that all nursing homes are aware of the licensing statuses of their nurses. Therefore, even if a nursing home hires an unlicensed nurse without knowing whether he or she is registered, it is still considered negligent hiring.
The Negligent Hiring Injures a Third Party
You cannot sue for damages due to negligent hiring if it is not the cause of your injuries. Consider an example where you are injured in a nursing home and you learn that one of the LPNs wasn't licensed in the state. To claim negligent hiring, you must show that it caused your injuries. For example, the licensing agency in your state may require each nurse to know how to administer certain drugs. If the unlicensed LPN did not have this skill, and it leads to your injuries, then you may have a negligent hiring claim. For more information about other legal questions, ask professionals like Frank L. Slaughter Jr. PC.Share