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Assignment scope determines background checker liability

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

If you run background checks before hiring, the information you request may limit liability for the investigating firm you use.

Recent case: A car salesman shot and killed his manager after an angry exchange at a sales meeting. The survivors sued the company that performed the background check on the salesman.

They contended that the company told the auto dealership that the salesman had no criminal record, but that a civil record check would have revealed several domestic protection orders and allegations that the salesman owned guns and had threatened to kill his ex-wife.

The company argued it had only been hired to perform a criminal record check, not a civil check. Therefore, it said it had no duty to find the protection orders. The court agreed and dismissed the case. (Kuentz, et al. v. Cole Systems, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2017)

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