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What Happens If You Skip the Background Check?

Does your company conduct pre-employment background screening and drug tests? Failing to screen new hires properly can be expensive. Beyond the cost of a bad hire, negligent hiring lawsuits can cost a business big, from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. What happens if you skip the background check?

What Happens If You Skip the Background Check?


You could get lucky and find a great new employee without using employer background check services. You rolled the dice and won this time.

The Bad Hire

You skipped the background check. Your candidate aced the interview, and it seemed like they would be a great fit. The first week goes well, and then you find that the employee doesn’t know as much as they said they did, or is already calling in sick. An employment verification background check would have helped to alert you that the candidate lied about having four years experience in the industry. A drug screening test for employment would have identified issues with drugs and alcohol that create absenteeism issues. These issues can cost a company a lot of money, from lost productivity to higher training and re-training costs, as well as the cost of once again going through the hiring process to try and fill that role with someone qualified.


Lawsuits are the worst case scenario, but it does happen. A precedent has been established showing that a company can be held liable for the actions of its employees when they cause harm to someone, called the negligent hiring.

What Happens If You Skip the Background Check?

One example is a case in which a company was held responsible for over $12 million in damages to a man who was injured and required amputation of a limb due to a drunk driving accident in a company car by an employee who had recently received a DUI. The company was held vicariously liable because one of the person’s job duties was to entertain and drive around clients. Proper pre-employment background screening would have helped the company to select a better candidate for the position.

Another example of this cost an employer over $1 million, when they were held liable for the murder of an employee by an employee who had prior charges and convictions for pulling a gun on a fast food employee.

Thankfully these cases do not happen more often. It is pretty clear that the law is willing to hold an employer liable for the actions of its employees. Pre-employment background screening can be the difference between hiring a great employee or looking to hire a lawyer.