2000 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 543 – Employer liability/employee actions


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Daily Data Tracking History

H0543................................by JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION
EMPLOYER LIABILITY - Adds to existing law to limit the legal liability of
an employer for the tortious acts of an employee.
02/10    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/11    Rpt prt - to Jud
02/18    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/21    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/24    3rd rdg - PASSED - 61-0-9
      AYES -- Alltus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bell, Bieter, Black, Boe,
      Bruneel, Callister, Campbell, Chase, Cheirrett, Clark, Crow, Cuddy,
      Denney, Ellsworth, Field(20), Gagner, Hadley, Hansen(23), Hansen(29),
      Henbest, Hornbeck, Jaquet, Jones, Judd, Kempton, Kendell, Kunz, Lake,
      Loertscher, Mader, Marley, McKague, Meyer, Montgomery, Mortensen,
      Moss, Moyle, Pearce, Pomeroy, Reynolds, Ridinger, Ringo, Robison,
      Sali, Schaefer, Sellman, Shepherd, Smith, Smylie, Stevenson,
      Stoicheff, Stone, Taylor, Tilman, Trail(Miller), Wheeler, Wood,
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Deal, Field(13), Geddes, Gould, Hammond,
      Kellogg, Linford, Pischner, Mr Speaker
    Floor Sponsor - Hansen(23)
    Title apvd - to Senate
02/25    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
03/02    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/03    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/27    3rd rdg - PASSED - 32-1-2
      AYES--Andreason, Boatright, Branch, Bunderson, Burtenshaw, Cameron,
      Crow, Danielson, Darrington, Davis, Deide, Dunklin, Frasure, Geddes,
      Hawkins, Ingram, Ipsen, Keough, Lee, McLaughlin, Noh, Parry,
      Richardson, Riggs, Risch, Sandy, Schroeder, Sorensen, Stegner,
      Thorne, Wheeler, Williams
      Absent and excused--King-Barrutia, Stennett
    Floor Sponsors - Darrington, Bunderson
    Title apvd - to House
03/28    To enrol
03/29    Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/30    Pres signed
03/31    To Governor
04/05    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 210
         Effective: 07/01/00

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-fifth Legislature                  Second Regular Session - 2000
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 543
  1                                        AN ACT
  6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  7        SECTION 1.  LEGISLATIVE INTENT. It is the intent of the  Legislature  that
  8    the  potential liability of an employer for the acts of a former employee com-
  9    mitted when the employee no longer works for the employer be limited to  cases
 10    in  which the former employer's acts were grossly negligent or reckless, will-
 11    ful and wanton. It further is the intent of the Legislature that the potential
 12    liability of an employer for the acts of a current  employee  committed  while
 13    the employee is "off the clock" also be limited.
 14        This  act  creates a limited immunity for an employer for acts of a former
 15    employee. It also creates a presumption that an employer is not liable for the
 16    acts of a current employee "off the clock." Because an employer has  no  legal
 17    right  to  restrict or control an employee's actions when that employee is not
 18    working for the employer, absent unusual circumstances an employer  ought  not
 19    be  liable  for  the  actions of an employee committed on the employee's "own"
 20    time. This act attempts to distinguish between acts of an employee  while  the
 21    employee  is  working  for  the employer and acts of an employee as a "private
 22    citizen." If a person is acting as an employee, or reasonably  appears  to  be
 23    doing  so,  an employer may be found liable under ordinary rules of negligence
 24    and respondeat superior. This includes circumstances in which an  employee  is
 25    wholly  or  partially  engaged  in  the  employer's  business  such as when an
 26    employee commits an act which he is not employed to commit, during work  hours
 27    or  at  a  time  when  an  employer  or  a third party reasonably believes the
 28    employee is engaged in the employer's business.
 29        SECTION 2.  That Chapter 16, Title 6, Idaho Code,  be,  and  the  same  is
 30    hereby  amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
 31    ignated as Section 6-1607, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
 32        6-1607.  EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR EMPLOYEE TORTS. (1) No employer  shall  be
 33    directly  or  indirectly  liable in tort based upon an employer/employee rela-
 34    tionship for any act or omission of an employee which occurs after the  termi-
 35    nation of the employee's employment unless it is shown by clear and convincing
 36    evidence  that  the  acts or omissions of the employer itself constitute gross
 37    negligence or reckless, willful and wanton  conduct  as  those  standards  are
 38    defined  in section 6-904C, Idaho Code, and were a proximate cause of the dam-
 39    age sustained.
 40        (2)  There shall be a presumption that an employer is not liable  in  tort
 41    based upon an employer/employee relationship for any act or omission of a cur-
 42    rent  employee  unless  the  employee  was  wholly or partially engaged in the
  1    employer's business, reasonably appeared to be engaged in the employer's busi-
  2    ness, was on the employer's premises when the allegedly tortious act or  omis-
  3    sion of the employee occurred, or was otherwise under the direction or control
  4    of  the  employer  when the act or omission occurred.  This presumption may be
  5    rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence that  the  employer's  acts  or
  6    omissions  constituted  gross negligence or, reckless, willful and wanton con-
  7    duct as those standards are defined in section 6-904C, Idaho Code, and were  a
  8    proximate cause of the damage sustained.
  9        (3)  In  every  civil  action  to  which this section applies, an employer
 10    shall have the right (pursuant to pretrial motion and  after  opportunity  for
 11    discovery) to a hearing before the court in which the person asserting a claim
 12    against an employer must establish a reasonable likelihood of proving facts at
 13    trial  sufficient  to  support  a finding that liability for damages should be
 14    apportioned to the employer under the standards set forth in this section.  If
 15    the court finds that this standard is not met, the claim against the  employer
 16    shall be dismissed and the employer shall not be included on a special verdict
 17    form.
 18        (4)  Nothing  in  this  section shall be construed to expand any rights of
 19    recovery under the common law or to limit any person's rights under any  other
 20    statute  including,  but not limited to, chapter 59, title 67, Idaho Code, and
 21    title 72, Idaho Code.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                       RS 09964

This legislation would limit a private or public employer's 
liability for the acts of former employees committed after 
the termination of employment and for acts of current employees 
committed off the job. The person who commits the act which 
causes the injury will remain responsible for the consequences 
of the act, but liability will not be imputed to the employer 
unless the employer has been grossly negligent or reckless.

                       FISCAL IMPACT

This bill has no fiscal impact except to the extent that liability 
of the state and local government entities for tort claims would 
be reduced.

Name: Dawn Justice
Phone: 343-1849
Ken McClure
Phone: 388-1200

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                      H 543