What happens when a fire chief knowingly hires a firefighter who is not certified?
The California Tort Claims Act (Act) (Gov. Code, § 810 et seq.) governs actions
against public entities and public employees.
A public entity may be directly liable for failure to discharge a mandatory duty.
Section 815.6 provides: “Where a public entity is under a mandatory duty imposed by an
enactment that is designed to protect against the risk of a particular kind of injury, the
public entity is liable for an injury of that kind proximately caused by its failure to
discharge the duty unless the public entity establishes that it exercised reasonable
diligence to discharge the duty.” (Stats. 1963, ch. 1681, § 1, p. 3268.)
The public entity isn't liable if an employee acts outside of his authority. Generally, in order to hold a person negligent, it must be shown that they failed to carry out a duty and that failure was the cause of harm to another. Please see the legal discussion beginning on p.23 of the case at the following link for an in-depth discussion of the evidence needed in CA to prove public employee liability and/or a negligent hiring claim: