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4 Potential Ways to Prove Employer Negligence

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

Employer negligence is often alleged in injury cases, typically when an employee is hurt or causes harm to someone else. But how can you prove employer negligence in court?

To prove a "basic" negligence case, you must identify a duty, a breach of that duty, and a cognizable injury that was caused by that breach. But how does a negligence case work in the employment context?

Here are four potential ways to prove employer negligence:

  1. Negligent hiring. Employers have a duty of reasonable care in screening individuals who, when hired, may pose a threat of injury to fellow employees, members of the public, or the workplace in general. Negligent hiring claims against employers can stem from a variety of crimes and injuries caused by employees including murder, sexual assault, injury and property loss. An employer's failure to conduct an adequate background check is one common way to prove negligent hiring.
  2. Negligent retention. Employers may face liability for negligent retention when they are careless in taking corrective action against an employee after learning an employee was unfit after he was hired. This may include failing to retrain, reassign, or discharge the employee. An employer's failure to be aware of an employee's unfitness can also lead to liability. Like negligent hiring, claims for negligent retention typically arise from acts performed by an employee outside the scope of his or her employment.
  3. Negligent training. If an employer fails to use reasonable care in training and supervising its employees, the employer can be liable to the public for the harmful acts of those employees. One good example of this is a case involving a Walmart store in Wisconsin, where employees wrongfully, and with no reasonable cause, accused and detained a customer for shoplifting. The company was found to be liable for failing to train and supervise its employees.
  4. Negligent supervision. Negligent supervision encompasses an employer's failure to reasonably control or monitor the actions taken by his or her employees. Negligent training is a variant of negligent supervision.

If you're injured on the job, or if a company's employee has caused harm to you, suing for employer negligence may allow you to recover for your injuries. For advice about how best to proceed with an employer negligence case, you may want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney near you.

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