Are Employers Liable for the Actions and Misdeeds of Their Employees in California?

Even if an employer does not injure an employee or a customer, they may be liable for damages if a worker under their employ is responsible for hurting someone. Under the law, this is known as ‘respondeat superior,’ which states that an employer is legally responsible for the conduct of their employees. The primary limitation is that this does not apply to incidents caused while the employee was away from work and handling personal business. An employer is only responsible for the actions of their employees while those employees are on the job and supposed to be performing their workplace duties.

The cost of doing business extends beyond paying employees a reasonable salary. It includes the cost of damages if those employees injure themselves, their co-workers, customers, or lawful visitors of a business establishment.

For example, if a delivery driver is driving under the influence and hits someone while on the job, their employer will, in all likelihood, be held liable for damages. Similarly, suppose an employee of a retail store sexually harasses or gropes a customer or co-worker. In that case, the company may be on the hook for damages due to negligent hiring practices and dangerous work environments.

If an employee has injured you, consult a personal injury lawyer immediately. An experienced attorney can help determine whether you have a case against the employer in addition to the at-fault party.

Can Employers and Managers Be Held Liable for Negligent Supervision and Hiring Practices?

Most states across the country legally recognize employers as responsible for their employees’ dangerous and criminal activity. Accusations of ‘negligent hiring’ refer to instances where an employer had justifiable reason to believe that a worker would pose a threat to others but was hired anyway. ‘Negligent retention’ refers to instances where an employer had reason to fire a dangerous employee but did not, and then that employee hurt others. Meanwhile, ‘negligent supervision’ refers to cases where a supervisor was responsible for watching over their employees but failed that duty, resulting in workplace injuries.

In all three cases, employers can be held liable for damages.

What Are Common Workplace Accidents and Incidents?

While the American workplace should be a safe location for employers and their employees to do business, the sad fact of the matter is that millions of workers are injured while on the job every year. Partly this is because business owners have a tendency to cut corners in the effort to save money, partly, this is due to deteriorating or faulty equipment, and sometimes it is the result of negligent hiring practices. Whatever the reason, workers deserve safe working conditions and the right to seek compensation when their employers let them down.

Common workplace accidents and incidents include:

  • Broken or defective equipment.
  • Electrocution due to faulty or exposed wiring.
  • Falls from ladders, rooftops, and scaffolding.
  • Inadequate lighting leading to falls or collisions.
  • Lack of safety signage warning workers about hazardous conditions.
  • Powerful machinery harms people when the operators are not looking.

Slips, falls, and trips on slick or uneven surfaces.
Unsupervised workers on the factory floor, with injuries going unnoticed or unreported.

Is Workplace Violence Common?

There are approximately two million instances of workplace violence every year in the United States, costing American businesses over $200 million dollars annually. Almost half of all human resources reps in the U.S. report at least one instance of workplace violence during their time on the job. Robbery is by far the most common cause of workplace violence. Unsurprisingly then, jobs that handle the exchange of money, such as cashiers and bank tellers, see the most workplace violence. Violence against healthcare workers is also worryingly high.

Worker-on-worker violence – sometimes referred to as lateral or horizontal workplace violence – is also common. These violent acts include bullying, hazing, humiliation, abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, etc.), and assault. Though every case is unique, those in positions of authority have been known to abuse that power imbalance and direct their ire on those beneath them within a company.

What Type of Financial Compensation Could You Recover from a Lawsuit?

Your personal injury attorney will likely file a claim seeking both economic and non-economic damages for the injuries caused by an employee.

Economic damages may include financial recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, lost future income, and property damage.

Non-economic damages may include compensation for emotional distress, psychological pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of companionship, lost quality of life, and mental anguish.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with the Paris Firm Today

The legal team of The Paris Firm has years of experience representing clients who have been injured through no fault of their own. These victims deserve compensation for the pain and suffering that has been delivered into their lives. And if a negligent employer was partially responsible for their employee’s dangerous actions, then your lawyers will also seek to hold them accountable as well.

The Paris Firm offers a no-obligation, free initial consultation to all prospective new clients. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal injury case, please contact us today. You should not have to negotiate with insurance companies and the defendant’s lawyers and worry about your medical bills all at the same time. We’re here to help lift the burden off your shoulders.

Schedule your free consultation by calling our Chino Hills-based law office at 909-325-6185.