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Employer Not Liable for Man's Rape of Coworker

Employers are only liable on the basis of negligent hiring if the worker's act was foreseeable.

Key Point 10-05. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker's molestation of an adult if the church was negligent in the selection of the worker. Negligence means a failure to exercise reasonable care, and so negligent selection refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker. Liability based on negligent selection may be imposed upon a church for the acts of employees and volunteers.

Key Point 10-05.2. Some courts have found churches not liable on the basis of negligent selection for the sexual misconduct of a minister or other church worker involving another adult since the church exercised reasonable care in the selection of the worker.

Key Point 10-05.3. Churches can reduce the risk of liability based on negligent supervision for sexual misconduct involving adult victims by adopting risk management policies and procedures.

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2009

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