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Mitigate Negligent Hiring Through Comprehensive Background Screening

By: Vanessa Mitchell Tuesday, 14 July 2020

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What is Negligent Hiring?

Negligent Hiring according to US Legal: “is a claim made by an injured party against an employer based on the theory that the employer knew or should have known about the employee's background which, if known, indicates a dangerous or untrustworthy character.” Essentially, if you hire an employee with a criminal record (without first running a background check, or running an inadequate background check), and they are convicted of a workplace crime, you may be subject to a negligent hiring claim.

Negligent hiring liability can occur if an employer:

  1. Neglects to background check prospective employees.
  2. Failed to sufficiently assess prospective employees.
  3. Hires a prospective employee despite criminal history.



OSHA estimates that over 20 Million US Workers each year are victims of workplace violence.

$50 Billion is the cost of workplace crime for U.S Organizations each year according to Statistic Brain.

Employers lose 72% of negligent hiring cases with an average settlement of $1.6 million according to a 2001 Report on Criminal Background Checks.



The best way to prevent a negligent hiring claim is be in-depth and proactive when hiring employees and volunteers. A thorough and exhaustive background check from a reliable source l will help you make better, informed decisions. FCRA compliance is critical when hiring and should be done by an accredited background screening provider like Choice Screening.

A quick database search is not enough to keep you from a negligent hiring suit. A thorough background check containing a combination of broad and narrow searches as well as searches that are directly related to the candidate’s job description will provide you with a more accurate picture of your candidate. Generally, a comprehensive background check consists of a combination of searches in four primary areas:

1. Identity & SSN verification and address history

SSN Verification & Address History

2. Public record searches

Criminal Records

7 Year Felony and Misdemeanor

County Criminal

Statewide Criminal

Verified Enhanced National Criminal

US Federal Criminal

International Criminal

National Wants and Warrants

Sex Offender Registry

Civil Records

County Civil

US Federal Civil

3. Driving Records


FMCSA Clearinghouse

Sex Offender Registry

4. Professional qualifications

Employment Verification

Education Verification

Professional License Verification 

Professional References

5. Job-specific searches and testing

Drug, Alcohol and Medical Screening

Drug & Alcohol Testing

Titers Blood Test

Medical Sanctions and Registries

Medical Registries




Credit Reports

Bankruptcy, Liens, & Judgments

It is best practice to use a combination of searches to get a comprehensive background check which allows you to make better informed decisions, inevitably helping to mitigate negligent hiring risk.

Please remember that as a consumer reporting agency, we cannot act as your attorney. Note that this blog is not all-inclusive. Ensure you’re consulting with a qualified employment attorney when creating and maintaining a background screening program.

Topics: Comprehensive, Employee Background Check, Criminal Background Checks, Best Practices

Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa Mitchell

Passionate blogger dedicated to making your life easier when it comes to background screening.