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Rep.Sanford, Scott

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REP. SCOTT SANFORD PASSES BILL TO PREVENT PREDATORS FROM MOVING BETWEEN WORKPLACES  print page

by: Rep. Sanford, Scott
05/08/2019

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Representative Scott Sanford passed House Bill 4345 to empower nonprofits, such as churches, to disclose the sexual misconduct of former employees to their current or prospective employer.

“House Bill 4345 prevents sexual predators from moving from workplace to workplace and empowers victims to come forward,” Representative Sanford said. “Sexual abuse thrives in secrecy, and this bill provides the protections for nonprofits to come forward to prevent any future harm.”

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, and Texas Private Schools Association have joined together in support of this important legislation.

"We are hopeful, at the progress of this bill, that our churches will be empowered with a new tool with which to fight against sexual abuse," Gary Ledbetter, Communications Director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, said. "We are also grateful to Representative Sanford for taking the lead in getting HB 4345 this far along the process. His knowledge of how churches work is a benefit to every community in Texas."

If enacted into law, this bill would prevent future victims and remove the fear of suit for disclosing credible allegations of abuse to a prospective employer. Immunity is only given when the disclosure is done in good faith and if the reporting required by law has been completed.

Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, stated, "HB 4345 grants immunity from civil liability to staff and volunteers of charitable organizations who disclose to prospective employers a credible allegation of sexual abuse lodged against a person once associated with their organization. This bill adds a critical tool for nonprofit organizations to protect against sexual abuse."

This bill cleared its final hurdle in the Texas House and is now headed to the Senate.

Contact: Vanessa Tanner

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