We recently came across a court case that represents a win for employer’s rights, regarding hiring, in which the Tennessee Supreme Court specifically stated that “Employers should have freedom to make their own business judgments without interference with the courts.”
In the case of Yardley v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC, a housekeeping aide at a hospital had previously been injured and received worker’s compensation benefits. The hospital subsequently entered into a contract to outsource its housekeeping to a third party. The new company agreed to interview the hospital’s current employees but was not contractually obligated to hire them.
The company chose not to hire the employee because of the prior claim, specifically stating, “Bringing her on board would seem to be a Workers’ Comp. claim waiting to happen.” This comment made it clear that refusal to hire this person was directly the result of her prior Worker’s Compensation claim. Yet, despite prior decisions by the Court that employees could not be fired for filing a Worker’s Compensation claim, the Court decided similar protections did not apply to “prospective” employees.
For employers, this decision represents a major victory. After years of decisions affording employees the right to sue employers for a variety of alleged wrongs, a state Supreme Court has taken a stand in favor of the “at will” employer.
For more information about good hiring processes, including applicant questionnaires and screening, or to discuss an evaluation of your company’s current programs, we invite you to give us a call at (765) 932-5917.