It is crucial for all employers to find the right people for the positions they have open, especially when it comes to providing care for the elderly. While there are federal laws in place that help to ensure only properly qualified individuals are able to work in nursing homes, it seems as though some “slip through the cracks” from time to time. When this occurs, and an employee’s actions or inactions result in an injury, the nursing home may be held liable for negligent supervision or negligent hiring.
Understanding Negligent Hiring
Negligent hiring occurs when a person is injured by the negligent actions of an employee when the employer should have known that the employee was unsuitable for the job he was hired to perform. These claims can be made when there is something in the employee’s past that may have predicted they would act a certain way. For example, in some cases, negligent hiring claims can be filed when an employee assaults a person and the employee had a previous history of assaulting people. In other cases, a claim can be brought if an employee does not have sufficient qualifications or training to safely perform a job and someone is injured. These issues are common in industries where the worker has to provide care to people or has access to their property, such as in a nursing home.
When is the Employer Considered Negligent?
The legal liability for negligent hiring occurs if the employer either knew, or should have known, about the employee’s history and then failed to consider the employee’s past when making a hiring decision. There are a few steps all employers – especially those in nursing homes – need to take to ensure they don’t hire a dangerous worker. These steps can include:
- Checking driving records
- Checking the person’s credit rating
- Requiring a drug screening
- Validating any college or other technical degrees
- Checking personal and employment references
- Performing a background check
In nursing homes, state and federal laws require that many of these items be investigated before the worker is employed in a nursing home setting. This is because many nursing home residents have reduced ability to care for themselves or to make proper financial decisions because of their reduced physical or mental capacities. In such circumstances, they can be injured or taken advantage of by unqualified or unscrupulous employees.
Understanding Negligent Supervision
This concept is similar to negligent hiring, with the main difference being that the employee was not properly trained or supervised by the employer to do the job she was hired to do. When somebody is injured as a result of the employee not being properly trained or supervised, the employer can be held liable. In a nursing home setting, for example, if a staff member is not properly supervised in handling vulnerable residents and a resident is injured, the nursing home can be held liable. If a worker is not properly trained in infection control procedures and the resident gets a serious infection, the nursing home can be held liable.
If you have suffered an injury or someone you love has been a victim of negligent hiring or negligent supervision, you should hire a personal injury attorney. The attorney can review your case and ensure the injured person receives proper compensation under the law. To learn more about these cases, contact the personal injury attorneys at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton by calling 904-249-9030.