Articles Posted in Employment

Job Interview.jpgIf 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.

1093369_business_shadow.jpgWhen you go to work for someone you may be asked to sign an agreement that prevents the disclosure of confidential information about that employer if you leave your employment. Often these agreements contain a covenant not to compete that prevents you from doing business in competition with the employer for a certain period of time. Covenants not to compete are enforceable in Texas, but must meet the criteria established by Sections 15.50 – 15.52 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code.

A covenant not to compete is enforceable if it is ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement at the time the agreement is made to the extent that it contains reasonable limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained and does not impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest of the employer.

A covenant not to compete relating to the practice of medicine is enforceable against a person licensed as a physician if such covenant complies with the following requirements: