Negligent Referral | Meaning and Definition

What is Negligent Referral?

The act of Negligent referral is when an employer passes on a reference for a formal employee and fails to inform the new prospective employer of any dangerous traits or behaviors of the employee in question that can pose a threat to the organization, employers, and other workers. In some parts of the world, this is considered a civil wrong and is actionable through court and litigation.

When does a negligent referral occur?

Ideally, when a former employer is passing on a reference for a former employee, they should be informing the prospective employers about all traits, positive as well as negative. Especially the negative behaviors. If they fail to do so, and the new employee goes on to harm any colleague or client of the new employer, and it is found out that they have a history of such behavior, then it would be considered that the former employer conducted an act of Negligent referral. An employer would be considered to be liable in such a case if the employee had showcased any such traits or there were instances in the previous employment where the employee in question had behaved in a dangerous manner. The former employer would also be considered liable if the employee had not shown any such behavior, but the employer was aware of the employee being capable of acting in a dangerous manner. 

Difference between defamation and negligent referral

Defamation is when a person wrongfully makes negative remarks about another in order to cause suffering to them. In the corporate setting, if a former employer wrongfully refers a former employee to a new employer with the agenda to cost him a job. Negligent referral, on the other hand, is when an employer does not inform about the dangerous attributes of an employee to a new employer. The element of intent to cause harm to any party is not important in negligent referral.