$10 Million Employment Screening Lesson for Cab Company

Nick Fishman

Employment Background Screening Negligent Hiring

Here’s a real head-scratcher. Imagine that you are an employer (lol, if you’re reading this blog, you probably are), and you get the following criminal rap sheet on a prospective employee.

• Failure to obey a traffic signal, 2007
• Speeding, 2009
• Failure to pay attention, 2012
• Failure to obey a highway sign, 2012
• Tampering with a vehicle, 2011
• Speeding, 2007
• Failure to wear seat belt, 2007
• Failure to pay full time and attention, 2010
• Speeding, 2011
• Failure to obey a traffic signal, 2013
• Violation of good behavior on a misdemeanor offense
• Illegal sale of unapproved equipment
• Misdemeanor assault, 2011

Is there anything on this list that might concern you?

Okay, I haven’t give you all of the considerations here.  Let’s say that you own a taxi service and you are employing this person as a driver.  Now, does anything on this list concern you?

But that’s not enough.  What happens if you decided that you chose not to run an employment background check in the first place.

Well, now we’ve got something.  Unfortunately, a police officer in Alexandria, VA  had to deal with the ramifications of the cab company’s decision.

When cab driver, Kashif Bashir was stopped by Officer Peter Laboy for exhibiting aberrant behavior, he took out a gun and shot him in the head.

Thankfully, Officer Laboy survived his injuries.  Unfortunately for the cab company, their decision not to conduct an employee background checks has resulted in them being sued for negligent hiring by Officer Laboy for $10 million.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think a background check might have prevented this incident and would have been a lot cheaper.

Another thought that crossed my mind on this is that if you look the the cab driver’s rap sheet, they all appear to be minor offenses when taken individually.  Now, these individual offenses probably cause concern for someone employing a driver, but maybe individually they wouldn’t mean much to an office worker.  In this case, the body of work is what counts.  A minor offense or two usually won’t deter someone from getting a job, but a laundry list of offenses committed over a long period of time should.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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  • I agree that these offenses should have been a red flag for a company hiring someone as a driver. However, in no way would I have assumed that someone even with this many minor offenses would take out a gun and shot someone, let alone a police officer. None of the offenses listed in any way are violent. This really makes no sense.

  • True- except that they are indicative of a complete and blatant disregard for the law and other underlying issues. In addition, I don’t consider assault- regardless of how small- a minor offense or non-violent. That alone is a big ringing alarm, in any work environment, cab driver or office worker, just my opinion. The problem here is that there are quite a few companies who feel that dependent on the worker, a background check is unnecessary which is obviously the wrong decision. Take the construction worker in Philadelphia- had a criminal history yet no background was done. It really is a shame the incidents that can be prevented.