Business Liability for Employee Conduct – Negligent Employment

“Negligent employment” actions are based on conduct that may be more specifically described as negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and negligent retention. Courts and litigants often use these terms interchangeably. Technically, however, there is a difference among the three types of negligent employment, which is based on the length of employment.

In some jurisdictions, a claim of negligent hiring, supervision, or retention may not be cognizable in certain situations, requiring a plaintiff to assert an alternative cause of action. For example, Kansas law does not recognize a cause of action for negligent supervision, hiring, and training in the context of sexual harassment.

To establish a prima facie case in an action based on the negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of an employee for damages caused by an employee’s tortious act, the plaintiff must show that:

1. the employer had a duty to protect the plaintiff from harm resulting from its employment of the tortfeasor
2. the employer breached that duty and
3. the employer’s breach of duty was a proximate cause of the harm suffered by the plaintiff

Contact one of our experienced business litigation lawyers to help guide you through your questions concerning employee liability.

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