Harvard Professor Derek Brok once quipped, “If you think education is expensive, consider the cost of ignorance.”
A similar analogy can be drawn between pre-employment screening and poor hiring decisions. The cost of a background check pales in comparison to the cost of a large jury award for negligence.
Consider the case of Horse Vineyards, a California winery. Christina Appleton was employed at Horse Vineyards as a clerical employee. On her way to work and at the entrance to the facility, she was stabbed 27 times by Arvie Carroll, a convicted murderer who was on parole. Carroll had been hired by a Temp Agency and recently assigned to work at the vinery. Not only was Carroll a convicted murderer, but also he had been fired just 2 weeks before going to work for the Temp Agency.
Unfortunately for Christina Appleton, the Temp Agency did not do a background check. Had they done even a cursory background screening, they would have discovered Carroll’s nefarious past.
The Temp Agency was sued by Appleton’s family for negligence and the jury awarded her estate $5,500,000.
This case goes to show that negligent hiring will not be tolerated, especially when, for a nominal sum, a murder could have been avoided.
Employees have a right to expect they will be safe and secure on the job.
To that end, Employers have a right to check the backgrounds of people they are considering for employment.