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Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 1

A Delaware court ruled that a church could be liable on the basis of negligence and emotional distress for its failure to act when a female member complained.

Key point 4-11.1. Clergy who engage in sexual contact with an adult or minor are subject to civil liability on the basis of several legal theories. They also are subject to criminal liability.
• Key point 8-08.2. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It consists of both "quid pro quo" harassment and "hostile environment" harassment. Religious organizations that are subject to Title VII are covered by this prohibition. An employer is automatically liable for supervisory employees' acts of harassment, but a defense is available to claims of hostile environment harassment if they have adopted a written harassment policy and an alleged victim fails to pursue remedies available under the policy. In some cases, an employer may be liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by nonsupervisory employees, and even nonemployees. ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2005

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