A plaintiff alleging negligent retention “has the burden of showing that the employee or independent contractor was not qualified to perform the work for which he was hired,” and that “the employer had knowledge of the employee’s unfitness for the job.” (internal citations omitted).
In Parker v. ABC Technologies, Inc., No. M2020-00675-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2021), plaintiff filed a pro se action against his former employer and two managers from the former employer for negligent retention, among other claims. In a brief analysis, the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of this case, finding that plaintiff had not pled sufficient facts to support his claim.
The Court explained that a plaintiff alleging negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of an employee must show, “in addition to the elements of a negligence claim[,] that the employer had knowledge of the employee’s unfitness for the job.” (internal citation omitted). In this case, plaintiff named two managers from his former place of employment as defendants. The Court ruled that these managers, as employees of the company, “could not also assume the role of employer and ‘retain’ their own employment,” so the negligent retention claim against them failed.