Brent M. Giddens
Carlton DiSante & Freudenberger LLP
As a lawyer specializing in human resources and employee issues, what consistent theme do you find in labor litigation?
|In the last twenty years or so that I have spent defending employers and employment litigation there has really been one consistent theme that has permeated virtually all the litigation I have handled and it is that the employees that sue tend to be employees that were rushed through the hiring process. Employees that were not carefully screened, employees that were not carefully evaluated. And it comes from a need to hire somebody immediately. There tends to be a lot of pressure on the employer as a result they tend to make difficult or unfortunate hiring decisions. As a result the best way to avoid, at least in my experience a problem employee is not to hire the problem employee to begin with. And in looking back through their personal files people that ended up bringing litigation against the company, there is always something in that file that should have triggered the employer's concern that perhaps this wasn't the best hire never the less they rushed forth and hired anyway out of a need to fill some specific purpose. As a result it is very very important when hiring someone to make sure that you have carefully screened their background that is check their résumé. Did they go to the schools they say they went to. Have they been convicted of any crimes particularly of any violent crimes not that that will necessarily preclude them from employment, but it is something you really ought to know about before you hire them. Have you talk to their prior employer. Were they a good employee. Have they had good evaluations. Do their supervisors and co workers thing highly of them. One hurtle you may in checking backgrounds is most employers don't give out any subsative information about whether someone is a good employee or bad employee. You might get their names and dates of employment but not much else. As a result I found that it is helpful to talk to supervisors of those employees tell them that you really want to hire this person is there anything that they the supervisors can tell you about that person because I found that it is basic human nature that if it is someone that has done a good job for a company or particular individual in the past they will tell you that especially when the know that their word or their recommendation may be the difference between hiring that employee or not hiring that employee. And even though it may seem like a lot of time and a lot of effort in doing all this background checking and screening it will pay dividends in the long term by making sure that you're not hiring somebody when looking back on it that really wished you wouldn't have or that you should have paid attention to red flags that went up in the hiring process that you didn't follow up on and instead ended up hiring the wrong person.|