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Read Malorney v. B&L Motor Freight, Inc. in Section 21.2 of your textbook. Discuss what duty or duties a business has with regard to checking the background of potential employees before hiring. Do you agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring? Why, or why not?
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ posts in a substantive manner.
Agree or disagree with your classmate’s position. Defend your position by using information from the week’s readings or examples from current events.
Discuss what duty or duties a business has with regard to checking the background of potential employees before hiring.
Employers should avoid claims of negligent hiring by continuously performing background checks. One should be completed as a hiring practice and various checks should continue during employment. Along with the background checks, employers should verify information on resumes and check references. If the job consists of driving then the employer should check driving records as well. Doing so, will lower the risk of potential injuries while on the job. Employers should be extremely cautious with their hiring practice if the job involves a lot of public contact. Once a business has learned about a person’s criminal background then they should immediately discharge that individual. This will also show that the employer was not careless during the hiring process and would avoid any claims of negligent hiring.
Do you agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring?
I do agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring. If a person has a background history of being a sex offender and they hire that person to work directly with children and unsupervised then they are aiding in the potential harm of that child. They made it easily accessible for the sex offender to reach their prey. If something was to happen while the employee was on the clock, then the employer should be held liable for the negligent acts of the employee. Referencing the Malorney v. B&L Motor Freight, Inc. Case, B&L should be liable for hiring a person who they should have realized was unfit for the job once they performed a background check. “The existence of a legal duty is not dependent on foreseeability alone, but includes considerations of public policy and social requirements” (Seaquist, 2012, p. 21.2). A background check on the employee would have displayed that he was fired from a previous truck company and had a history of sex-related convictions with hitchhikers. The employer performed careless hiring practices and pretty much handed the employee the tools to commit this crime. Unfortunately, the employee had the intentions on committing this crime and acted on his own. The employer did not make Edward Harbour commit the crime however, they unintentionally supported his negligent act. Therefore, the business should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring.
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business Law for Managers. Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
I have very mixed feelings about this case. As I do believe first and foremost, as a business, one should always preform background checks on potential employees. This not only protects the company, but also its current employees. Knowing that everyone who comes to work for company A, goes through a background check, can give more piece of mind to everyone in the company. It is easy to check a box on an application stating you have never been convicted of a felony, therefore it becomes up to the company to verify the information is correct or not. In this case, B&L felt that the negative check on Harbour’s vehicular records was well enough to move forward with hiring him without any additional verifications. In the case of Malorney v. B&L Motor Fright, Inc., the courts did conclude that B&L had a duty to check Harbour’s criminal background and certified the issue for interlocutory appeal (Seaquist, 2012, pg. 21.2). B&L goes on to argue that they had no duty to investigate Harbour’s denial. The texts states that “the existence of a legal duty is not dependent on foreseeability alone, but includes considerations of public policy and social requirements” (Seaquist, 2012, pg. 21.2). When a company provides a truck or any vehicle for their employee to use in order to complete their job duties, I do believe more extensive checks should be conducted, as now that person is on our roads and possibly putting other people’s lives in danger. The fact that B&L knew truck drivers are prone to stopping and picking up hitchhikers, that they included it in there hiring contract shows that they can potentially foresee their employees doing just this, as it is common for them to do so. In today’s technology world, background checks are accessible by computers and can take a short amount of time to received and now are fairly inexpensive, this being sad, to me, there is no reason a company shouldn’t take those additional steps of verification to protect themselves.
In 2006, a good friend of mine was hit and killed by a drunk driver. The driver was an illegal immigrant with prior DUI convictions and was recently hired by a construction company who provided him with a company vehicle. As a result, the company was found liable and settled in court to pay a sum amount of money to my friend’s family. Marshall (2007), stated that, “the company knew or should have known Perez’s immigration status and driving record and had a duty to “make a reasonable effort to confirm” that Perez was licensed and qualified to drive in California”. Whenever a company is putting their employer in trust of things such as a truck, that can cause harm or injuries to others, there should be regulations/laws on verifying background checks and if not probably done, they should also be held liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring.
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Writer, S. M. (2007, May 4). Employer of driver in fatal Ramona crash agrees to resolve lawsuit. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-employer-of-driver-in-fatal-ramona-crash-agrees-2007may04-story.html (Links to an external site.)
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