Because people sometimes misrepresent their employment history, education and professional credentials, associations and management companies could be liable for negligent hiring
if they fail to investigate an applicant's fitness for employment. At a minimum, the following steps should be taken with all applicants being considered for hiring:
1. Employment Verification
. Contact prior employers to determine if the applicant is qualified for the job or may have some personality trait that will cause problems later such as disorganization, abusive with employees, untruthfulness, etc. Use a form
to keep written notes of the responses. Make sure you note if prior employers refuse to answer questions. It will help limit potential liability by showing that you made an investigation.
2. Criminal Convictions.
Hiring an employee with a criminal history who subsequently commits crimes while in your employment could create significant liability for an association or management company for negligent hiring. Use an investigative service to check for criminal convictions, DUIs, etc. Although you may inquire about criminal convictions, you cannot automatically bar employment because of a criminal conviction--the conviction must be job-related, i.e., you can refuse to hire a bookkeeper who was convicted of embezzlement
. If you deny employment based on information found in public records, you must provide a copy of that public record to the applicant.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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