A new law in Texas – H.B. 1188 – signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 14, 2013 will amend the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code so that “a cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, based on evidence that the employee has been convicted of an offense.” More information about Texas H.B. 1188, which will become effective on September 1, 2013, is available at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1188.
While H.B. 1188 is intended to increase public safety, decrease recidivism and allow job seekers with criminal records to become self-sufficient, law-abiding citizens – as well as alleviating employer concerns about potential liability stemming from hiring individuals with criminal records – the new law does not preclude all causes of action for negligent hiring or negligent supervision. HB 1188 includes exceptions if an employer knew or should have known its employee was convicted of the following offenses:
- An “offense that was committed while performing duties substantially similar to those reasonably expected to be performed in the employment, or under conditions substantially similar to those reasonably expected to be encountered in the employment”;
- A “sexually violent offense”; or
- An “offense listed in Section 3g, Article 42.12” of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure available at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CR/htm/CR.42.htm#42.12.
H.B. 1188 also allows negligent hiring or negligent supervision claims “concerning the misuse of funds or property” if, on the date the employee was hired, that employee had been convicted of a crime that includes “fraud or the misuse of funds or property” and the job for which the employee was hired would “involve discharging a fiduciary responsibility in the management of funds or property.” The full text of H.B. 1188 is available at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB01188F.pdf.
“To take advantage of the law, employers must still run background checks to ensure that a person is appropriate for a particular job. However, the law goes a long way towards encouraging employers to hire ex-offenders that committed offenses not relevant to the job,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a comprehensive guide to background checks available at http://www.esrcheck.com/SafeHiringManual.php.
“The law will help ex-offenders finally have a second chance and re-enter society as productive and tax paying citizens, and this is yet another example of a state law where ex-offenders can be employed that also protects the public,” explains Rosen, a frequent speaker on background check and due diligence issues nationwide. “At some point, a society cannot afford to spend more on prisons and police then we do on schools and hospitals, and this type of measure seeks to strike a balance,” he adds.
Background checks help employers ensure a safe workplace for their organizations, employees, and the public. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). For more information about background checks from Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), please visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.
About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):
Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.
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The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.