Employers can be held liable when their employees commit violent acts including murder. Whether it is an Uber driver, a truck driver, a shop manager, or another employee, the courts have held that in certain instances the employer is responsible for the conduct of employees. Depending on the facts of the case, there are a number of legal options that plaintiffs can pursue to recover compensation for the murder of a loved one.
The doctrine of respondeat superior means that the employer is legally liable for the actions of an employee who commits murder or another violent act during the course of his or her employment. For instance, when an employee commits such acts while they are on the job or within the employer’s place of business, the company may be held liable.
Examples of misconduct include an Uber driver or delivery driver speeding to meet a deadline or pick up a passenger. It also includes employees who attack customers, vendors, or other coworkers in the office.
Negligent Hiring & Negligent Retention
Employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees won’t cause harm to customers, employees, or the general public. This requires employers to conduct thorough background checks on prospective employees and investigate any claims of dangerous behaviors. These companies have a duty to employees and the public to terminate the employment of individuals who exhibit unsafe behaviors. In recent years Uber, Lyft, and many other companies have been successfully sued for negligent hiring practices when their employees have committed rapes, robberies, and murder.
Job-Related Accidents & Preventing Violent Acts
Employers must also verify that employees have the requisite skills to perform necessary job functions. For instance, workers should have knowledge of equipment and machinery, vehicles, etc., that they are required to operate. Failing to thoroughly conduct background checks is a common problem that puts employees and the public at risk of serious harm or death.
Similarly, employers have a responsibility to provide reasonable security measures at their place of business. This can include cameras, security guards, protective barriers, effective door locks, etc. The courts often find in favor of plaintiffs when an employer fails to provide and maintain reasonable protection against both known and potential threats. For instance, failing to deny access to a place of business by an individual or employee that has made direct or indirect threats against an employee can cause the company to be liable if someone is hurt or killed.