Running a business in California comes with many responsibilities. As a business owner, one of your biggest responsibilities involves managing your employees.
Your employees are a valuable part of your business. You count on your employees to keep your business running smoothly and profitably and prevent issues.
Another one of your responsibilities as a business owner is training and managing your employees to do their jobs in the safest possible manner. Employees have a legal duty to provide clients and customers with a duty of care.
The duty of care and establishing negligence
The exact legal duty owed by employees may be different, depending on the specific job or industry. For example, doctors or health care professionals might be held to a higher duty of care than an office worker.
When one of your employees breaches this duty of care and causes harm to a client or customer, they are considered negligent.
As with any negligence case, proving negligence involves showing that the duty of care was clearly defined and breached by an employee. The breach must cause harm to the alleged victim.
The risk to you as the employer
As an employer, you could face liability if your employee was negligent if it is determined that their negligence was caused by things like improper training or failure to understand their duty of care. The alleged negligence victim may sue you as the business owner rather than the individual employee.
You have some different options to consider if you find yourself in this situation. You can defend yourself by arguing that the negligence was caused by your employee and that
A negligent employee can cause significant harm to your business and reputation. You also have the right to file an individual lawsuit against your employee to recoup any losses. It is best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney before you pursue either of these options.
How to protect yourself
You can reduce your chances of employee negligence by having a detailed employee handbook thoroughly explaining the duties of each employee and standards they must follow. Providing proper initial and ongoing training can also decrease the chance of employee negligence.