If a pastor does no screening for persons he knows personally, has he exposed the church to a risk of liability?
When hiring anyone, you should be familiar with the legal principle of negligent selection. The term negligence means carelessness or a failure to exercise reasonable care. Negligent selection, then, means carelessness or a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of a worker. Consider the following examples:
Example. A church allows Bob to serve as a Sunday School teacher in a 3rd grade class despite its knowledge that Bob engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with a child in another church. The senior pastor wants to give Bob a "second chance." Six months after being hired, a parent alleges that Bob molested her adolescent daughter. The church is later sued by the victim and her mother, who allege that the church is responsible for Bob's misconduct on the basis of negligent selection.