top of page

Employer Negligence 101: Understanding Negligent Supervision, Retention & Hiring Claims

Many employees seem to think that, if they don't have an employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claim that qualifies for protection under state and/or federal laws, they have no other legal remedies when they are abused at work. Most jurisdictions, however, do allow for negligent supervision, retention, and hiring claims, which still hold employers liable for failing to take action or engaging in other wrongful conduct. Here's what you need to know about these claims:

Negligent Supervision

Negligent Supervision occurs when an employer fails to provide adequate oversight of their employees, leading to harm or injury. To prove it, you must establish:

1️⃣ Duty of Care

2️⃣ Breach of Duty

3️⃣ Causation

4️⃣ Foreseeability


1️⃣ Inadequate safety training for employees handling hazardous materials.

2️⃣ Ignoring reports of workplace harassment without appropriate action.

3️⃣ Allowing employees to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, jeopardizing safety.

Negligent Retention

Negligent Retention occurs when an employer retains an employee despite knowing their potential to harm others. To establish it, you must prove:

1️⃣ Employee's Unfitness

2️⃣ Knowledge by the Employer

3️⃣ Causation

4️⃣ Foreseeability


1️⃣ Retaining an employee with a history of violent behavior who subsequently harms a colleague.

2️⃣ Keeping an employee with multiple misconduct warnings who later causes harm to a client.

3️⃣ Failing to address ongoing drug use by an employee, leading to an accident.

Negligent Hiring

Negligent Hiring occurs when an employer fails to properly vet and screen an employee, resulting in harm to others. To prove it, you need to show:

1️⃣ Employer's Duty to Investigate

2️⃣ Negligence in Hiring

3️⃣ Causation

4️⃣ Foreseeability


1️⃣ Hiring a driver without checking their driving record, leading to accidents.

2️⃣ Employing a person with a history of theft in a position where they have access to valuable assets.

3️⃣ Not conducting background checks for employees working with vulnerable populations, resulting in harm to clients.

Remember, these legal concepts are essential in protecting employees' rights and safety in the workplace. Knowledge empowers us all. Reach out to Primera Law at or (720) 239-2567 if you believe you have a claim for negligence against your employer; and let us provide you a free consultation.


Deborah Yim is the founder and managing attorney of the Primera Law Group. She focuses her practice exclusively on representing employees and small businesses in all facets of labor and employment law. With over 22 years of legal practice, Deborah has also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, a corporate litigator at a national law firm, and an employment attorney representing the U.S. Department of the Interior. Read more about Deborah here.

35 views0 comments


bottom of page