June 9, 2004by Israel Foulon LLP
Question: Our company uses a headhunter when recruiting. If a headhunter makes a misrepresentation to a potential employee during the hiring phase which induces the employee to join our company, can we as the employer be held liable for such misrepresentations?
Answer: The fact a headhunter has performed the recruiting activities for the employer does not necessarily relieve the employer of potential liability. Liability may extend to the employer if a negligent misrepresentation is made on the employer’s behalf, even if the employer itself did not make the misrepresentation. The courts may view such a misrepresentation by the headhunter as being a misrepresentation of the employer.
Employers must be aware of such potential liability and may consider entering into contracts with their headhunters to define the relationship and to indemnify the employer of any liability arising from the recruitment activities of the headhunter.
Peter Israel is the senior partner in the Toronto law firm of Israel Foulon LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers. He can be reached at 416-640-1550 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A version of this article originally appeared in the Carswell publication, Canadian Employment Law Today