By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences
As we near the end of the year, now is the perfect time to consider steps you can take to protect your club in the New Year. We talked about the critical role of insurance for your club in a blog last month, but here are two more steps you can take to make sure your club is covered against potential future issues.
Alcohol at Sertoma Events
Many clubs hold public events where alcoholic beverages are served and/or sold to adults of a legal age. Because this can present a liability to your club, Sertoma’s club insurance program provider has recommended that clubs consider educating and training its members on related guidelines.
Many states have their own set of requirements and laws that may apply. To find out what is necessary in your area, we suggest that you reach out to the department responsible for regulating alcohol in your state. Some cities, counties, and/or states may provide free or low-cost training that might be of assistance to your members. For clubs in states without such programs, they can check out TIPS and ServSafe for other training resources.
If your club works with youth, consider conducting criminal background checks on members, volunteers, or paid staff who may interact with minors and vulnerable adults at events, programs, camps, etc., that are supported, organized, or sponsored by the club.
When conducting a background search, keep in mind that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offers the most comprehensive database and includes all federal crimes, plus 70-90% of state criminal databases. Low-level misdemeanors, driving citations and DUIs account for the portion of state records that are not included in the FBI database. There are also numerous state, county, local, and private vendors and databases that also offer background check services.
We suggest that clubs always verify with an attorney if they have any questions about if a background check is necessary and the type of check that is most appropriate for the club.