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Important Update on Employment Law and Employer Liability in Texas by Brian Cartwright

Employers can breathe a limited sigh of relief in the state of Texas. Some employers claimed that they could not hire and retain otherwise qualified and productive adults who had criminal records, even though they had served their time and were rehabilitated, for fear of being sued for negligent hiring or negligent supervision. HB 1188, and codified in Chapter 142 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, was passed and enacted into law effective September 1, 2013, which now provides that a lawsuit may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, based on evidence that the employee has been convicted of an offense. This was claimed to be an important record. Of course, HB 1188 does not, amongst other things, preclude a lawsuit for negligent hiring or supervision if the employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party, knew or should have known of the person’ conviction and the offense that was included in a list of certain specified offenses, including a sexually violent offense under Article 62.001 of the Texas Code of Criminal.