Child Abuse

Church Law and Tax 1989-11-01 Recent Developments Child Abuse Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Church Law and Tax 1989-11-01 Recent Developments

Child Abuse

The Arizona legislature recently enacted a law designed to reduce the risk of sexual molestation of children by public school employees. The law demonstrates the importance of adequately “screening” employees who will have access to minors (see the two-part feature article in the last two issues of Church Law & Tax Report). Here is what the law requires: (1) All new employees must be fingerprinted, and a “fingerprint check” must be conducted to determine any previous criminal activity. (2) All employees must certify on forms provided by their employing school that they have never been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the following crimes either in Arizona or in any other state, and that they are not presently awaiting trial for any such offenses: sexual abuse of a minor, incest, first or second degree murder, kidnapping, arson, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, felony offenses involving distribution of marijuana or narcotic drugs, burglary, robbery, any dangerous crime against children, child abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, or molestation of a minor. (3) Prior to hiring any new employee, a schools must make a documented, good-faith effort to contact previous employers in order to obtain information regarding the applicant’s fitness for employment (a prior employer cannot be sued for its evaluations unless it knowingly makes false statements with an intent to cause harm to the applicant). Ch. 115, Laws 1989.

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