80R8570 KSD-F
 
  By: Macias H.B. No. 2537
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to liability for hiring an employee or an independent
contractor who has been convicted of a nonviolent criminal offense.
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
       SECTION 1.  Title 6, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
amended by adding Chapter 145A to read as follows:
CHAPTER 145A. LIABILITY FOR HIRING CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AND
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
       Sec. 145A.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
             (1)  "Employee" means a person other than an
independent contractor who, for compensation, performs services
for an employer under a written or oral contract for hire, whether
express or implied.
             (2)  "Independent contractor" has the meaning assigned
by Section 91.001, Labor Code.
             (3)  "Nonviolent offense" means an offense other than:
                   (A)  an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or
Chapter 29, Penal Code; or
                   (B)  any offense conviction for which
registration as a sex offender is required under Chapter 62, Code of
Criminal Procedure.
       Sec. 145A.002.  LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY FOR HIRING EMPLOYEE
OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR CONVICTED OF A NONVIOLENT OFFENSE. (a) A
cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general
contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for hiring
an employee or independent contractor who has been convicted of a
nonviolent offense.
       (b)  In a negligent hiring action against an employer,
general contractor, premises owner, or other third party for the
acts of an employee or independent contractor that is based on a
theory of liability other than that described by Subsection (a),
the fact that the employee or independent contractor was convicted
of a nonviolent offense before the employee or independent
contractor's employment or contractual obligation with the
employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party,
as applicable, may not be introduced into evidence.
       (c)  This section does not preclude any existing cause of
action for failure of an employer or other person to provide
adequate supervision of an employee or independent contractor,
except that the fact that the employee or independent contractor
has been convicted of a nonviolent criminal offense may be
introduced into evidence in the suit only if the employer:
             (1)  knew of the conviction or was grossly negligent in
not knowing of the conviction; and
             (2)  the conviction was directly related to the nature
of the employee's or independent contractor's work and the conduct
that gave rise to the alleged injury that is the basis of the suit.
       (d)  The protections provided to an employer, general
contractor, premises owner, or third party under this section do
not apply in a suit concerning:
             (1)  the misuse of funds or property of a person other
than the employer, general contractor, premises owner, or third
party, by an employee or independent contractor, if, on the date the
employee or independent contractor was hired, the employee or
independent contractor had been convicted of a crime that includes
fraud or the misuse of funds or property as an element of the
offense, and it was foreseeable that the position for which the
employee or independent contractor was hired would involve
discharging a fiduciary responsibility in the management of funds
or property;
             (2)  the misappropriation of funds by an employee or
independent contractor, if the employee or independent contractor
was hired as an attorney and, on the date the employee or
independent contractor was hired, the employee or independent
contractor had been convicted of a crime that includes fraud or the
misuse of funds or property as an element of the offense; or
             (3)  a violent offense or an improper use of excessive
force by an employee or independent contractor, if the employee or
independent contractor was hired to serve as a law enforcement
officer or security guard.
       (e)  This section applies to the hiring of an individual as a
guard at a prison or jail facility.
       (f)  This section may not be construed to create a cause of
action or expand any existing cause of action.
       SECTION 2.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of
this Act. A cause of action that accrues before the effective date
of this Act is governed by the law in effect immediately before that
date, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
       SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.