If you are an employer in Texas, in some instances, you have a duty to properly hire, train, supervise and retain competent employees. If you breach that duty, you can be found liable to persons who are injured from your actions. Claims against an employer for negligent hiring are based on the direct liability of the employer and not the vicarious liability of the employer for the acts of the employee. The main advantage of a negligent hiring claim is that it does not require a finding that the employee was acting in the coarse and scope of his employment when the injury occurred. Instead the employer is liable if its negligence in hiring, supervising, training or retaining the unfit employee was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
To prove a cause of action for negligent hiring it must be shown that the employer owed the plaintiff a legal duty to hire, supervise, train or retain competent employees and that the breach of that duty was the proximate cause of the injury to the plaintiff.
An employer has a duty to use ordinary care in determining whether a prospective employee should be hired. This duty requires the employer to make an inquiry into the competence and qualifications of the prospective employee and may require the employer to look into the employee’s criminal background. However, criminal background checks are not required for every employee. The need for a criminal background check largely depends on the nature of the job the employee is hired to do.