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Negligent Hiring/Retention

             Human resources professionals have been breathing a bit easier because.
             of the retrenchment in the "At-Will" Employment Doctrine.(1) The repreive.
             was short lived, however, as a relatively new employee relations law.
             scourge has surfaced- The Tort doctrine of negligent hiring/retention.(2).
             Although this theory is not new, it's prominenece is growing. This.
             added cause of action in tort law is resulting in increased employer.
             liability and risk. Often, Court award outcomes in these cases are in the.
             hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more, and are likely to be upheld on.
             The limitations placed on human resources professionals and employers.
             relating to preemployment inquiries make an interesting contrast to the.
             negligent hiring dogma. Discrimination law, such as title VII of the civil.
             rights act of 1964, as written and/or interpreted by the courts, proscribes.
             many inquiries that have a negative employment-related impact on protected.
             classes of people.
             Plaintiffs also are asking the courts to curb employer access to.
             employee records and other personal information under the right to privacy.
             arguement, a constitutional arguement employing fourth amendment illegal.
             search and siezure guarantees. Human resources managers can be heard in.
             corporate hallways mumbling about these apparent conflicts and.
             incongriuties in common law and government mandate.
             Historically, If a worker commited a negligent act, a plaintiff often.
             would sue his or her employer under the theory of Respondeat Superior, or.
             let the master respond. (3) This doctrine holds the employer liable for his.
             or her employees' negligent, on the job actions and does not depend in any.
             way on the fault of the employer. (4) Common law held that employers owed.
             thier employees a duty to provide a safe place to work. Eventually, this.
             duty was extended to providing safe employees, because the courts reasoned.
             that a dangerous co-worker is comparable to a defective machine.

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