Negligent Retention: Protecting Your Assets

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Recurring background screening

According to recent claims documented by the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, employers have been found liable for negligent hiring or retention of dangerous or incompetent employees in most U.S. states. Additional statistics presented by the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence also exhibit the serious ramifications negligent retention could have on a company.

Nearly 20% of people within the United States have criminal records, and employees are responsible for 60% of losses due to fraud, information and property thefts. Workplace violence alone costs employers $4.2 billion in lost work and legal fees.

Negligent retention refers to an employer’s continued employment of an unfit individual.

Because negligent retention is based on the expectation that every employer will do all that is necessary to remain aware of the status of their employees, post-hire screening can serve as a solution for mitigating the legal risks associated with “negligent” retention.

While pre-employment screening reduces the risk of uninformed hiring decisions, post-employment screening reduces a company’s long-term risks by keeping them well-informed through the life of the employment relationship.

Companies are taking a growing interest in the use of recurring employee screening as a way to maintain a clear picture of their company and its employees. This type of screening is often called “infinity screening,” or is simply referred to as “post-hire employee screening.”

Many companies and institutions already screen their employees annually. Security-sensitive industries and businesses, such as educational institutions (teachers), healthcare (for all medical personnel), Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated businesses, and financial institutions were among the first to reap the benefits of creating a consistent, secure workforce through recurring screening.

More recently, recurring screening has become a popular practice for protecting both employees and company interests in all industries. Many employers began to re-screen employees who are part of acquisitions,  transferring to new departments, or have been promoted or changed positions.

Recurring screening lessens the risk associated with many of these changes in employee status and position, ensures that employees have not obtained a conviction while they have been employed and that they have kept up with their certifications/licenses; or, confirms immigration status and provides reassurance that the employee remains qualified for their position.

A recurring screening program rolled out broadly, can help your firm mitigate unnecessary risk by ensuring consistency. Having current information on employees will allow your organization to be proactive rather than reactive. Staying informed of employee conduct inside or outside of the workplace will ultimately enable your company to make informed decisions to ensure safety and protection against negligent retention.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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