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Q.Should I do a reference check before hiring a new job applicant?

A.Yes. You should always perform a reference check on potential new hires. This is especially important in light of the fact that if you hire a new employee that you should have known was predisposed to commit a violent act of misconduct, and that new hire injures another employee, you may be liable for “negligent hiring.” Performing a through reference check, and presenting the documentation, will be your best defense against a negligent hiring claim. However, you will still be responsible for any workers compensation damages that result and you must be careful to safeguard the confidential nature of the information. The results of your reference check should not be kept in the employee’s personnel file, but in a separate file marked confidential.

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