Key point 10-10.03. Churches can reduce the risk of liability based on negligent supervision for sexual misconduct involving adult victims by adopting risk management policies and procedures.
This section has addressed church liability on the basis of negligent supervision for sexual misconduct by ministers and other church workers with adult victims. Churches can reduce the risk of liability, based on negligent supervision, by adopting some of the strategies described in section 10-09.03.
Key point. Many cases of sexual misconduct with adult victims arise out of a counseling relationship. There are a number of steps that churches can take to reduce the risk of such behavior occurring in the course of a counseling relationship, and many of these are addressed later in this chapter. See §10-12, infra.
Tip. A number of courts, in addressing the question of whether clergy are employees or self-employed for federal income tax reporting purposes, have observed that churches generally exercise relatively little supervision or control over clergy. See, e.g., Weber v. Commissioner, 60 F.3d 1104 (4th Cir. 1995). Such cases can be used by churches in defending against negligent supervision claims involving clergy misconduct.