Virginia Cab Company Gets a $10 Million Employment Screening Lesson

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Jun 7, 2013

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 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

A decision not to run a background check

Is there anything on this list that might concern you?

OK, 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 not to run an employment background check on this person 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.

In screening, it’s the body of work that counts

Thankfully, Officer Laboy survived his injuries. Unfortunately for the cab company, their decision not to conduct an employee background check 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 is that if you look at 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, it’s 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.

This was originally published on EmployeeScreen IQ.