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Trinity Church not responsible for assault on parishioner

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

The Parish of Trinity Church of New York in lower Manhattan is not liable for the sexual assault of a church member by an employee, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, has affirmed.

The church member sued the parish for negligent hiring and supervision after being assaulted by a church coordinator who had worked for the parish for five years. The plaintiff said the church knew the employee was homosexual, HIV positive and a former drug user.

The church won summary judgment, showing that it had followed standard hiring procedures, including background checks, when hiring the coordinator. The coordinator had no criminal record and there were no complaints about him before the assault occurred.

Final tip: Remember, you can be held liable for negligent hiring and supervision if you don’t take reasonable measures to protect employees and customers from harm, such as sexual assaults and other bodily injury. Review your hiring practices with your insurance company or counsel to see if you are taking the right safeguards. 

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