Second Chance Employment: Addressing Concerns About Negligent Hiring Liability

August 7, 2023
By Zach Ruppel

A new report from the Legal Action Center debunks a common, fear-based message and myth all-too familiar to those working to create economic mobility and fair chance practices: negligent hiring.

For the employer and HR professional considering how they can improve access to good-paying jobs for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system, a common fear is recidivism in the workplace and subsequent lawsuits for knowingly hiring an individual with a background. In combing through nearly FIFTY years of data, it was discovered that negligent hiring suits centered on fair-change hires’ conduct resulted in only an average of 47 cases each year.

In fact, according to LAC, “Studies by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that very few serious crimes are committed in the workplace by any employees, and while employers who do not conduct criminal record checks sometimes incur liability, employers who conduct record checks and evaluate the results when making hiring decisions are rarely held liable.”

Elevating facts over fears is key to opening new doors to fair chance hiring and the Legal Action Center’s report speaks boldly to the need for accuracy, individualized assessments, and the creation of equity in hiring policies.

Read the full report and access tools to use in your own fair-chance hiring advocacy.