Federal Laws Regarding Employment of Sexual Offenders

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The decision of hiring a sexual offender in the workplace remains with the organization itself. Federal laws do not address the hiring of a sexual offender. Some states, such as New York and Pennsylvania, have mandated specific guidelines for the hiring of employees, including sexual offenders.

Although the hiring of sexual offenders falls short in the federal law jurisdiction, rules exist to ensure employers provide a safe environment within the workplace, including safe hiring and retention of staff.

Negligent Hiring

Employers screen and interview potential employees to gain a better understanding of the individual interested in employment. The risk employers take when hiring a new employee stands crucial to the all-around safe environment of the workplace. Although federal laws do not place restrictions on the hiring of sexual offenders, laws do address safe hiring practices. According to the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, negligent hiring is defined as a complaint that the employer did not fully screen an employee that later injured or committed a crime against another employee of the organization. If an employer fails to conduct a criminal history check on a sexual offender and later that sexual offender attacks an employee, the victim may claim negligent hiring.

Negligent Retention

Negligent retention describes the act of keeping an employee on staff that commits a crime toward, or hurts, another employee at work. According to hrtools, a recent study revealed that 80 percent of employees did not provide completely accurate information on job resumes or applications. Employers interested in providing a safe environment for all workers consider some form of checks or assessments to determine appropriate eligibility.


A company's policies and procedures regarding hiring and retention require consistent review and discussion. Screening tools such as criminal checks, abuse registry checks and driving record checks provide an initial or ongoing assessment of staff. A policy outlining consistent assessments of all staff hired regardless of position eliminates the potential mistake of not gathering all crucial information about an employee.