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Unformatted text preview: olute but is conditional or qualified by the
following language: "If the employer makes adequate inquiry or otherwise has a
sufficient basis to rely on the employee, there is no need to inquire about a possible
criminal record." Evans v. Morsell, 284 Md. 160, 395 A.2d 480, 484 (Md. 1978); see also
[**50] Williams, 386 So.2d at 1240; Garcia, 492 So.2d at 441. The correct application of
the rule is seen in Williams, in which, despite the holding that the employer had no duty
as a matter of law to check with law enforcement authorities, the fact that the employee
had a criminal record, and the employer made no investigation, either by requesting
submission of an application form containing questions as to criminal conduct or by
interview, required reversal of a summary judgment in favor of the employer and
submission of the case to a jury for resolution. A further application of the rule is found
in Ponticas, supra. In that case, the court also adopted the Evans v. Morsell rule, stating it
as follows: "if the employer has made adequate inquiry or otherwise has a reasonably
sufficient basis to conclude the employee is reliable and fit for the job, no affirmative
duty rests on him to investigate the possibility that the applicant has a criminal record."
331 N.W.2d at 913. Further, the court explained, "liability of an employer is not to be
predicated solely on failure to investigate criminal history of an [**51] applicant, but
rather, in the totality of the circumstances surrounding the hiring, whether the employer
exercised reasonable care. This is generally a jury question." Id. Thus, the court
concluded, "the jury could have found that appellants made slight effort to determine
whether it was safe to hire [the employee] and give him access to the living quarters of
the tenants of the apartments." Id.
We find that the trial court did not err in admitting the evidence of Turner's adult arrest
and conviction records. Furthermore, we find that the trial court fully and correctly
instructed the jury on the employer's duty with respect to investiga...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08