Businesses exist to make money. Ironically, so do non-profit endeavors. Cash flow and assets must exceed liabilities in order to remain solvent. Very little is capable of draining funds more than legal bills related to lawsuits. This is why businesses and other enterprises run background checks in accordance with hiring processes. The law does reveal making an improper decision when hiring a dangerous employee could open doors to liabilities, and a recent court decision makes it harder to escape those liabilities. Clarifying background questions is definitely advisable when coming across something of concern on a prospective employee's steroid or other mood-altering fitness supplement use based on social media commentary.
The Law and Employer Liability
Legal decisions have established the employers have a "duty of care" to protect employees and customers from an employee's violent behavior. If an employee gets into a heated argument with a fellow work or a customer, loses his/her temper, and punches -- and seriously injures -- someone, an employer can be held liable if the employee should have known about the person's propensity for violence. This is where questions about someone's steroid or gray-market supplement use comes into question.
Steroids and "Roid Rage"
"Roid Rage" refers to the lack of impulse control capable of delivering an angry reaction in someone who uses muscle-building drugs. A person who is out of control due to steroid use could become violent when only minimally provoked. Potential employers who discover someone is using illegal bodybuilding drugs probably would be justified in not hiring such an employer if social media posts reveal admissions about such use. (Always check with a lawyer to be sure.) When the person is not using illegal substances, however, there may be additional questions and concerns.
OTC Risks and Legal Opinions
Certain over-the-counter weightlifting supplements continually run afoul of the FDA due to certain ingredients. Legal supplements may or may not have steroid-like and amphetamine-like responses in those who take them. Barring the hiring of an employee who takes such supplements comes with complexities. What if the person is deemed an "illegal drug user" by someone who reviews the background check information even though the product was legal? What happens if that information is released to the public? In a Ninth Circuit Ruling, it has been noted that background check liability waivers related to the release of false information by third parties violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Hiring the Best
To reduce legal liabilities, hire the best background check service to determine the full and real picture surrounding suspicions of illegal drugs or gray-market supplements. Run the detailed findings past an attorney. Both of these steps may prove very helpful and could assist with avoiding much trouble.
I am a real estate attorney, and I have been helping clients buy and sell property for many years. Some clients do not realize their legal obligations and options when it comes to purchasing or selling a house or land. I hope that this blog will be a way for people to get information about legal issues in real estate and what they need to know when doing business. Buying and selling property can be complicated, and all parties involved have legal obligations. Know what is expected of you, and you will be able to get the best out of your real estate transactions.