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Duty to Warn Future Employers

Should a church disclose negative information about a former employee?

• Does an employer have a legal duty to warn future employers of a former employee's dangerous propensities? That was the issue before a Michigan appeals court in a recent case. A maintenance worker who worked for a nursing home received 24 disciplinary warnings from his employer for conduct ranging from violence to alcohol abuse. Eventually, the worker was dismissed. The worker was hired by another company, and soon after beginning work he savagely beat and murdered another employee. The victim's estate sued the nursing home, alleging that it had been negligent in failing to disclose to the new employer the employee's history of violent behavior. The nursing home in fact was never contacted by the new employer, but it acknowledged that it would not have provided any information other than the employee's dates of employment even if it had been contacted. The victim's estate asserted ...

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  • March 1, 1991