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Recent Developments in Florida Regarding Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers

A Florida court ruled that churches and denominational agencies that dismiss clergy for sexual misconduct, and that later provide them with financial assistance to enable them to pursue studies in another profession, are not liable for injuries they cause in the course of their new profession.

Florida
State:
Key point. A church that dismisses an employee for sexual misconduct, and that offers the former employee financial assistance to pursue another profession, is not necessarily liable for future acts of sexual misconduct by the former employee in the course of his or her new profession.
Key point. A church may be legally responsible for providing a positive and unqualified reference on a former worker if it knows that the worker presents a risk of harm and fails to disclose this information.

1. A Florida court ruled that churches and denominational agencies that dismiss clergy for sexual misconduct, and that later provide them with financial assistance to enable them to pursue studies in another profession, are not liable for injuries they cause in the course of their new profession. The court also addressed the important question of legal liability for providing misleading references. ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1999

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