Do employer liability for negligent hiring discussion & reply to


Read Malorney v. B&L Motor Freight, Inc. in Section 21.2  of your textbook. Discuss what duty or duties a business has with  regard to checking the background of potential employees before hiring.   Do you agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting  from negligent hiring? Why, or why not?

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ posts in a substantive manner.

Agree or disagree with your classmate’s position. Defend your  position by using information from the week’s readings or examples from  current events.


Discuss what duty or duties a business has with regard to checking the background of potential employees before hiring.  

Employers should avoid claims of negligent hiring by continuously  performing background checks. One should be completed as a hiring  practice and various checks should continue during employment. Along  with the background checks, employers should verify information on  resumes and check references. If the job consists of driving then the  employer should check driving records as well. Doing so, will lower the  risk of potential injuries while on the job. Employers should be  extremely cautious with their hiring practice if the job involves a lot  of public contact. Once a business has learned about a person’s criminal  background then they should immediately discharge that individual. This  will also show that the employer was not careless during the hiring  process and would avoid any claims of negligent hiring.

Do you agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring?

I do agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting  from negligent hiring. If a person has a background history of being a  sex offender and they hire that person to work directly with children  and unsupervised then they are aiding in the potential harm of that  child. They made it easily accessible for the sex offender to reach  their prey.  If something was to happen while the employee was on the  clock, then the employer should be held liable for the negligent acts of  the employee. Referencing the Malorney v. B&L Motor Freight, Inc.  Case, B&L should be liable for hiring a person who they should have  realized was unfit for the job once they performed a background check.  “The existence of a legal duty is not dependent on foreseeability alone,  but includes considerations of public policy and social requirements”  (Seaquist, 2012, p. 21.2). A background check on the employee would have  displayed that he was fired from a previous truck company and had a  history of sex-related convictions with hitchhikers. The employer  performed careless hiring practices and pretty much handed the employee  the tools to commit this crime. Unfortunately, the employee had the  intentions on committing this crime and acted on his own. The employer  did not make Edward Harbour commit the crime however, they  unintentionally supported his negligent act. Therefore, the business  should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring.  


Seaquist, G. (2012). Business Law for Managers. Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


I have very mixed feelings about this case. As I do believe first and  foremost, as a business, one should always preform background checks on  potential employees. This not only protects the company, but also its  current employees. Knowing that everyone who comes to work for company  A, goes through a background check, can give more piece of mind to  everyone in the company. It is easy to check a box on an application  stating you have never been convicted of a felony, therefore it becomes  up to the company to verify the information is correct or not. In this  case, B&L felt that the negative check on Harbour’s vehicular  records was well enough to move forward with hiring him without any  additional verifications. In the case of Malorney v. B&L Motor  Fright, Inc., the courts did conclude that B&L had a duty to check  Harbour’s criminal background and certified the issue for interlocutory  appeal (Seaquist, 2012, pg. 21.2). B&L goes on to  argue that they had no duty to investigate Harbour’s denial. The texts  states that “the existence of a legal duty is not dependent on  foreseeability alone, but includes considerations of public policy and  social requirements” (Seaquist, 2012, pg. 21.2). When a  company provides a truck or any vehicle for their employee to use in  order to complete their job duties, I do believe more extensive checks  should be conducted, as now that person is on our roads and possibly  putting other people’s lives in danger. The fact that B&L knew truck  drivers are prone to stopping and picking up hitchhikers, that they  included it in there hiring contract shows that they can potentially  foresee their employees doing just this, as it is common for them to do  so. In today’s technology world, background checks are accessible by  computers and can take a short amount of time to received and now are  fairly inexpensive, this being sad, to me, there is no reason a company  shouldn’t take those additional steps of verification to protect  themselves. 

In 2006, a good friend of mine was hit and killed by a drunk  driver. The driver was an illegal immigrant with prior DUI convictions  and was recently hired by a construction company who provided him with a  company vehicle. As a result, the company was found liable and settled  in court to pay a sum amount of money to my friend’s family. Marshall  (2007), stated that, “the company knew or should have known  Perez’s immigration status and driving record and had a duty to “make a  reasonable effort to confirm” that Perez was licensed and qualified to  drive in California”. Whenever a company is putting their employer in  trust of things such as a truck, that can cause harm or injuries to  others, there should be regulations/laws on verifying background checks  and if not probably done, they should also be held liable for injuries  resulting from negligent hiring.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. Retrieved from

Writer, S. M. (2007, May 4). Employer of driver in fatal Ramona crash  agrees to resolve lawsuit. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from (Links to an external site.)

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