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when is employer liable for employee September 22, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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when is employer liable for employee
September 22, 2017
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when is employer liable for employee

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Ken,
          We are a central station.  I have a question regarding employees clocking in and out - liability issue for employers.  I understand how the company can be liable if someone get into an accident while still being on the clock. What if the person commits a crime, ex: domestic dispute with wife or girlfriend, damaging private property, caught shoplifting can the company be liable for their actions while they are on a break and still clocked in on whatever crime they commit.  
If you post, please keep me as 
anonymous
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Response
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    Employers, as Respondeat Superior [one party being vicariously liable for negligence of their agents] are liable for the negligence of their employees while the employee is in the course of employment; performing employee duties.  Two issues have to be looked at.  Is the employee 
Let's look at a few scenarios
  1. employee doesn't clock out, goes home and engages in domestic abuse
  2. employee doesn't clock out and goes out and sticks up a 7/11
  3. employee is sent to customer to perform repairs and steals from customer
  4. employee is sent to customer and causes damage by being careless
  5. employee clocks out, negligently causes car accident in company vehicle while driving 
  6. employee clocks out, negligently causes car accident in employee owned vehicle while driving 
  7. employee doesn't clock out, negligently causes car accident in employee owned vehicle while driving
  8. employee, servicing company customer, negligently fails to properly install, service or test alarm and loss occurs
  9. employee, surreptitiously working on side without employer's knowledge or consent servicing employees' own customer negligently fails to properly install, service or test alarm and loss occurs
     Which of the above, all, some, none, is the employer liable?
     If you selected 4, 5 and 8, you are correct.  You probably got 3 wrong.  You don't have enough facts for 3.  If you are liable under 3 it's not because of Respondeat Superior, but because of negligent hiring.  If you negligently or intentionally employ a known thief, or person with violent propensities, you can be held liable for their actions while they are on the job, even though stealing from the customer or assaulting the customer isn't part of their job.  Theory is that you put them there and should be responsible.
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com