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20 St. Thomas L. Rev. 183 (2007-2008)
Negligent Hiring and Criminal Rehabilitation: Employing Ex-Convicts, Yet Avoiding Liability

handle is hein.journals/stlr20 and id is 187 raw text is: 





        NEGLIGENT HIRING AND CRIMINAL
 REHABILITATION: EMPLOYING EX-CONVICTS,
               YET AVOIDING LIABILITY

                         TIMOTHY L. CREED
I. Introduction  ................................................................................................  183
II. N egligent  H iring  .......................................................................................  186
      A. Distinctions Between Negligent Hiring, Respondeat Superior,
          and N egligent Retention  .............................................................. 187
      B . D uty  and  Foreseeability  ................................................................. 188
          1. Duty to Hire Competent Employees ....................................... 188
          2. Actual Notice and Constructive Notice .................................. 189
          3. Crim inal-Background   Checks ................................................ 190
III. Com peting  Public  Policies  ...................................................................... 193
      A. Public Policies Supporting Negligent Hiring ................................ 193
      B. Public Policies Supporting Employing Ex-Convicts ..................... 194
IV. Federal and  Other State Approaches ....................................................... 194
      A . The Federal A pproach  ................................................................... 194
      B. The State Approach Requiring Employers to Hire Ex-Convicts... 196
          1. N ew Y ork  ...............................................................................  196
          2. W isconsin  ...............................................................................  199
V . Protected  C lasses  ...................................................................................... 20 1
      A. Distinction Between Criminal Backgrounds and Inherent Traits.. 201
      B. Title VII Protection for Classes with Inherent Traits .................... 202
VI. Proposed Negligent-hiring Standard ....................................................... 202
      A. Adjustments to Negligent-Hiring Law .......................................... 202
      B. Employers' Hiring Discretion  ....................................................... 203
V II. C onclusion  ............................................................................................. 204

                        I. INTRODUCTION
     Around noon one day in the spring of 2001, Kristin Blair, a nineteen-
year-old college student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University (Virginia Tech), worked alone in a classroom, finishing a
project before her 2:00 p.m. class.' She went to the restroom, but as she
opened the restroom door to return to her work, James Harris, a janitor,
ambushed her.2 Clutching her throat, he forced her back into the restroom
where he assaulted her.'


1. Blair v. Defender Servs., Inc., 386 F.3d 623, 625 (4th Cir. 2004).
2. Id. at 625-26.
3. Id. at 625.

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