Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Indiana

my church is starting a backgroung check.

we don't have a policy book . They are requiring all staff and youth leaders and teachers to agree on a background check. I'm refusing. I don't have any thing to hide. We are just giving up more freedom each day. thank you

Asked on 7/03/07, 9:53 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: my church is starting a backgroung check.

Your church is not the government and its rules do not have the force of law. Its decision to impose additional requirements thus has not deprived you of any freedoms.

You can refuse to authorize a background check if you want, and the church can dismiss you from your position if you do. Unless you have a contract that says otherwise, the church was free to dismiss you even before it added this new requirement. Your situation thus has not changed as dramatically as you seem to believe.

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Answered on 7/03/07, 10:15 pm
Voyle A. Glover Attorney at Law

Re: my church is starting a backgroung check.

Ditto to what Attorney Hoffman said. Good words.

Realize that the church absolutely MUST do these checks in order to survive. The first thing a Plaintiff's lawyer will do in the event there is a lawsuit because of a molestation or sexual assault, is inquire as to whether or not a background check was done. In research for a book I did last year (How To Protect Your Church Against Sexual Predators), it was alarming to discover that MOST of the predators come from the leadership -- teachers, pastors, volunteer leaders.

So, while you can complain about losing freedoms, the bottom line is the church really has no choice but to screen its workers.

My counsel to a church would be that if someone did not want to submit to a background check, to assume there was something to hide, and to definitely remove that individual from working with children in the church.

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Answered on 7/04/07, 5:09 pm

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