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招聘疏忽(不做背调)——百万美元的错误

一百万……对于普通人来说,除了一大笔钱还有什么?从 1992 年到 2019 年,解决招聘疏忽诉讼的平均成本约为 100 万美元。这是保守的。美国因疏忽招聘而获得的最高赔偿为 2650 万美元,这个数字要高得多。那么,什么是疏忽招聘,您可以做些什么来保护您的组织免受其影响?

疏忽招聘被定义为鉴于所提供职位所提供的风险而未能采取应有的谨慎或行动。尽管雇主传统上不对员工的行为负责,但除非在他们的工作范围内,否则如果员工因疏忽而伤害了他人,他们可能需要承担责任。

在相当高调的 2650 万美元奖金中,一名家庭保健工作者进入客户的家,抢劫并残忍地谋杀了客户和他的祖母。医疗保健组织没有进行背景调查。如果他们进行了检查,他们肯定会发现先前的六项重罪定罪,这将使他们能够合理地假设该男子在与敏感人群合作时存在风险。虽然这种情况是极端的,但它为在可以预见潜在风险情况时让组织承担责任的趋势奠定了基础。

虽然从大局来看,针对疏忽招聘的平均和解或案件裁决通常不会使公司破产,但与疏忽招聘案件相关的成本可能会在有形和无形成本中徘徊。为了底线,涉及疏忽招聘诉讼的公司必须支付和解费、律师费和增加的责任保险。更重要的是一些公司面临的长期损害其声誉的负面后果,包括负面宣传、信誉丧失、员工流失、华尔街的潜在反弹以及难以吸引新人才。

为了避免疏忽招聘或保留情况,请考虑一些基本的最佳实践:

确保尽职调查与风险相当——并非所有职位都提供相同级别的人员、设施和系统访问权限。背景调查的深度应与风险相称。您的 CEO 与暑期实习生拥有相同的物理访问权限的可能性不大。尽可能将您执行的背景调查类型与职位和访问级别相关联。应特别注意那些可以接触敏感人群(如儿童、老人和残疾人)的人,并且可能不受监督地接触。

保持您的计划和政策的一致性——如果您的政策规定您在某个级别进行背景调查,但发现您没有在该级别进行检查,那么它可能会在潜在的诉讼中对您不利。

记录一切——在法庭上,如果您的人力资源或安全部门没有记录他们的部分研究或背景调查,那么就好像您的研究从未发生过一样。记录所有背景调查、与前雇主的对话等,以确保全面了解任何不良招聘。

执行定期审计– 对您的背景筛查计划以及人力资源/安全流程和政策进行定期审计。确保它们一致并全面应用。

晋升时进行背景调查——想想当一个人获得晋升或当一个职位增加访问或风险时的背景调查。很多时候,初始位置可能无法提供作为新位置的访问级别,但仍继续使用初步屏幕。

定义您的扩展劳动力筛选政策——应该概述一个关于临时工和承包商的明确定义的计划,因为公司对另一个组织的招聘质量的控制较少。在提供对您的设施或系统的访问权限之前,确保对间接员工执行符合您规范的背景调查。

与您所在行业的其他公司进行基准比较——为了避免诉讼并在案件中取得成功,从犯罪历史检查的角度来看,公司必须能够证明他们所做的与同行一样多,甚至更多。

与您的法律部门协商– 确保您与您的法律部门核对您需要执行的任何控制和政策,以确保您的组织为您的员工和客户营造尽可能安全的环境。

有了这些最佳实践,您离避免可能代价高昂的数百万美元的错误又近了一步。

Negligent hiring is defined as failure to use due care or action given the risk provided by the position being given. Though employers are not traditionally responsible for an employee’s actions, unless under the scope of their job, they can be held responsible if through their negligence an employee harms another person.

In the rather high profile $26.5 million award, a home healthcare worker entered a client’s home and robbed and brutally murdered both the client and his grandmother. The Healthcare organization had not performed a background check. Had they performed a check, they certainly would have uncovered the six prior felony convictions that would have enabled them to reasonably presume that the man was a risk to work with sensitive populations. While this case was extreme, it sets the stage for the trend to hold organizations accountable when a potentially risky situation could be considered foreseeable.

While in the big picture, the average settlement or case award for negligent hiring will typically not put a company out of business, the costs associated with a negligent hiring case can linger both in tangible and intangible costs. Towards the bottom line, companies involved in negligent hiring suits must pay settlements, attorney fees, and increased liability insurance. More important are the negative consequences that some companies face that mar their reputations for the long term, including negative publicity, loss of credibility, loss of employees, potential backlash from Wall Street, and difficulty attracting new talent.

In order to avoid negligent hiring or retention situations, consider a few basic best practices:

Ensure the due diligence is equivalent with the risk – Not all positions provide the same level of access to people, facilities, and systems. The depth of the background check should be commensurate with the risk. The likelihood that your CEO has the same physical access as the summer intern is unlikely. Treat the types of background checks you perform as relevant to the position and level of access as possible. Particular attention should be paid to those that will have access, and potentially unsupervised access, to sensitive populations like children, elderly and disabled.

Maintain consistency in your program and policies – If your policy states that you background check at a certain level and it is found that you didn’t perform a check at that level, then it may be used against you in a potential lawsuit.

Document everything – In a court of law, if your Human Resources or Security department have not documented parts of their research or background check then it is as if your research never occurred. Document all background checks, conversations with previous employers, etc. to ensure a complete view of any bad hire.

Perform periodic audits – Perform periodic audits of your background screening program and the HR/Security processes and policies. Ensure that they are consistent and applied across the board.

Perform background checks upon promotion – Think about background checks when a person receives a promotion or when access or risks are added to a position. Many times the initial position may not provide the level of access as the new position, yet the preliminary screen continues to be used.

Define your extended workforce screening policy – A clearly defined program regarding temps and contractors should be outlined, as companies have less control over the quality of hire at another organization. Ensure that a background check that meets your specifications is being performed on indirect employees prior to providing access to your facilities or systems.

Benchmark against others in your industry – To avoid litigation and to succeed in a case, companies must be able to show that they are doing as much, if not more, than their peers from a criminal history check perspective.

Confer with your legal department – Make certain that you check with your legal department about any controls and policies that you need to enforce to ensure your organization promotes the safest environment possible for your employees and clients.

With these best practices in place, you are one step closer to avoiding a, potentially very costly, million dollar mistake.


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