Texas Provides Limited Liability in Negligent Hiring Cases

By Michael Klazema on 8/14/2013

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 1188 on June 14, 2013, limiting the liability of people who employ convicts. The bill adds Chapter 142 to Title 6 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The new law took effect immediately.

The new chapter generally prohibits (with important exceptions) any civil action against an employer solely for hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee based on evidence of the employee’s criminal conviction. The protections provided under the law extend to general contractors, premises owners, or other third parties.

However, an employer may be liable for negligent hiring if it knew or should have known of the conviction, and the employee was convicted of certain crimes. The crimes listed in the law are:

  1. An offense committed while performing duties substantially similar to those reasonably expected to be performed in the employment, or under conditions substantially similar to those reasonably expected to be encountered in the employment;
  2. The following offenses listed in Section 3g, Article 42.12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure: murder, capital murder, indecency with a child, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, sexual assault, injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, sexual performance by a child, compelling prostitution, trafficking of persons, a first degree felony offense, the use of a child in the commission of a crime, and a drug-related offense committed in or within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds, youth centers,  swimming pools, or video arcade facilities; or
  3. A sexually violent offense.

A negligent hiring or negligent supervision claim may also be filed against an employer for claims concerning the misuse of funds or property under some circumstances. To file a claim in this instance, the job must involve discharging a fiduciary responsibility in the management of funds or property, or the crime includes “fraud or the misuse of funds or property.”

As a result of this legislation, some employers will take comfort in knowing they will not be held liable for hiring individuals with criminal histories. A criminal background check will be useful to determine if an applicant or employee has a conviction of one or more of the crimes listed in the bill.

The full text of House Bill 1188 is available at:

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • August 10 Moore Advanced teamed up with to secure the best possible hires. Read more about how this process has assisted them.
  • August 10 An adjudication withheld is a court agreement that doesn’t qualify as a conviction but can make matters confusing for individuals applying for jobs. Should you disclose a withheld adjudication to a prospective employer?
  • August 09 With adults now legally using recreational marijuana in numerous states, and with additional legalization efforts in the wings, expungement of old and minor drug-related convictions is more important than ever.
  • August 07 A West Virginia TV station is pushing the state’s Child Protective Services and Department of Health and Human Services to answer questions about background check policies. A CPS employee was recently charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, domestic assault, and threatening a police officer.
  • August 02 Woes continue for ridesharing companies struggling to keep riders safe after a man, illegally in the United States, was arrested and accused of several rapes dating back years.
  • July 31 South Carolina legislators recently passed a new law that will change the language of the state’s expungement policy. The new law will make expungement possible for repeat offenders. The previous law only allowed first offenses to be scrubbed from the public record.
  • July 26

    Hawaii employers have been banned from asking job applicants about their salary history. The new act’s effective date is January 1, 2019, and covers all employers that have at least one employee in that state.

  • July 26

    The expansion of the The North Carolina Certificate of Relief  Law, offers relief to jobseekers. An employer may take into consideration a certificate of relief despite the applicant’s criminal past; however, the certificate is not an expungement or pardon.

  • July 26

    With growing concerns about liability, businesses are transitioning away from one-time background checks in favor of continuous checks. The results are impacting both employers and employees.

  • July 25 Uber is officially launching a new ongoing criminal monitoring policy for drivers. The company started rolling out the new system in early July and will expand it in the months to come.