When a plaintiff sues a defendant employer on a negligent hiring and supervision theory, it is the employer’s own acts or omissions that are in issue.  For purposes of alleging or proving proximate causation, it is not necessary for the plaintiff to show that the negligently hired employee committed harm while acting in the course and scope of employment as would be the case if vicarious liability were based on a respondeat superior theory.  Instead, the plaintiff may be able to show that the negligent hiring of the employee put him in a position to commit wrongful acts outside the scope of his employment which he would not otherwise have been able to commit.  Here, that was true.  Defendant made X an elder of the church, and that position of authority allowed him access to young girls whom he molested outside of church functions.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2 (Miller, J.); December 10, 2018; 9 Cal. App. 5th 1142