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Sorting Out Immigration Law for Churches
Navigating the volatile, unpredictable nature of this legal hot topic.
Sorting Out Immigration Law for Churches
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The news: Illegal immigration, immigration reform, and border security remain flash points in America. Last year brought increased enforcements by the government, including growing numbers of Form I-9 audits and unannounced site visits with employers as well as added scrutiny ...

District of Columbia Changes Course on Church Water Rate
District of Columbia Changes Course on Church Water Rate
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“D.C. officials have backed away from a proposal that would have made it easier for churches to qualify for a break on their water rates than other nonprofits, after critics said the policy could have been unconstitutional. The city is instead moving forward with a plan ...

Church Volunteer Caught on Video Abusing Child
Church Volunteer Caught on Video Abusing Child
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Police with the North Charleston (SC) Police Department said that in November Jacop Hazlett, a volunteer daycare provider for New Spring Church, “escorted” a 3-year-old boy into the bathroom during a Sunday service, took photographs of the child, and sexually abused ...

The Ever-Increasing Need for Cyber Insurance
The Ever-Increasing Need for Cyber Insurance
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While focused on American businesses, this item from The Kiplinger Letter offers some insights about inadequate cyber insurance coverage that can also apply to churches:

The rise in cyberattacks is upping demand for insurance, yet many US firms don’t have policies covering ...
When the Church Office Closes for Bad Weather, Does Everyone Get Paid?
The legal—and logical—considerations regarding how to handle an office closure.
When the Church Office Closes for Bad Weather, Does Everyone Get Paid?
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Winter weather advisory: snow, gusty winds, ice, and bitter cold are hitting much of our nation, with the Polar Vortex bringing wind chills of 50 below or worse this week in parts of the Midwest.

How should churches address inclement weather issues for their employees? And are ...

Churches: Note Time-Off Requirements for the Election
Check your state’s statute addressing what employers must provide.
Churches: Note Time-Off Requirements for the Election
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Election Day is upon us—and churches as employers need to note their potential legal obligations to give employees time off to vote.

As Kiplinger Letter recently noted, 29 states keep laws on the books that require employers to accommodate voting time of between one and ...

Are You Texting Employees on the Road?
Your church may be liable if an accident happens.
Are You Texting Employees on the Road?
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The mere act of sending a text to another person does not create liability, even if the texter knows that the recipient is operating a motor vehicle. People often receive text messages while driving a vehicle, and choose not to read or respond to them. Texter liability arises ...

Supreme Court Sides with Christian Baker in Major Religious Freedom Case
SCOTUS cites violation of baker’s First Amendment rights in ruling.
Supreme Court Sides with Christian Baker in Major Religious Freedom Case
Image: Picsale / Getty Images

It’s considered to be the “biggest religious liberty case of the year”—and this morning, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of Colorado bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop, who had refused (on religious grounds) to make a gay couple’s ...

What’s the Status of the Clergy Housing Allowance?
Updates on court timelines, the appeal, and more.
What’s the Status of the Clergy Housing Allowance?
Image: Alexander Andrews / Unsplash

The ministerial housing allowance is “the most important tax benefit available to ministers”—but since October 2017, that benefit has faced an uncertain future.

A refresher: On October 6, Judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court for the Western District of ...

When Churches Are Liable for Hostile Work Environments
What churches can learn from a recent sexual harassment case.
When Churches Are Liable for Hostile Work Environments
Image: Breather / Unsplash

This case study originally appeared in “Creating Sexual Harassment Policies for Church Workplaces,” a feature article in the March/April 2018 issue of Church Law & Tax Report.

A federal district court in Oklahoma ruled that a church could be sued on the basis ...

When Volunteers Drive for Your Church
Tips for handling this critical area of risk-management.
When Volunteers Drive for Your Church
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To help churches better understand some of the issues involved with volunteer drivers, ManagingYourChurch.com talked to Frank Sommerville. He is an attorney and editorial advisor for ChurchLawAndTax.com.

What should you know before allowing volunteers to drive on behalf of the ...

Why Taking Minutes Is a “Must”
Here are 4 reasons to take thorough, accurate minutes at your meetings.
Why Taking Minutes Is a “Must”
Image: Helloquence / Unsplash

Taking minutes arguably tops the list of “most thankless jobs,” and those who assume the role often wish they hadn’t been such a willing volunteer. But accurate minutes are a parliamentary procedure “must” for all nonprofits—including homeowners’ ...

The Top 10 Church Management Articles of 2017
Immigration law, hurricane response, the housing allowance: what readers kept clicking on this year.
The Top 10 Church Management Articles of 2017
Image: Kelly Jean / Unsplash

This past year’s most popular articles on ManagingYourChuch.com show the wide variety of financial, legal, safety, and tax matters that church leaders face. This list is based on unique page views in 2017 of articles published throughout the year.

10.“9 Tips for Planning ...

9 Steps Employers Should Take to Comply with the ADA
What churches should be aware of as they hire and train staff members.
9 Steps Employers Should Take to Comply with the ADA
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  1. Prepare job descriptions for all employees. Be sure to itemize essential job functions. These are functions that are job related and required by business necessity. Do not list functions that will not be required in performing the job in question.
  2. Review job application forms and eliminate any question that segregates or classifies applicants on the basis of disability.
5 Takeaways from the Clergy Housing Allowance Ruling
What a federal judge’s opinion does—and doesn’t—mean at this point.
5 Takeaways from the Clergy Housing Allowance Ruling
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Editor’s Note: Last Friday, Judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin struck down the ministerial housing allowance as an unconstitutional preference for religion. Senior Editor Richard R. Hammar offers five takeaways from this ruling, ...

FEMA Faces Discrimination Lawsuits from Texas Churches
Churches flooded by Hurricane Harvey claim the agency violated the First Amendment.
FEMA Faces Discrimination Lawsuits from Texas Churches
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As relief efforts continue across areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, three Texas churches sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week after their application for disaster relief grants had been denied.

According to Church Law & Tax sister publication Christianity ...

Responding to Injuries at Church
What to do when employees or volunteers get hurt.
Responding to Injuries at Church
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A pastor falls off a ladder while hanging a banner. A volunteer trips while playing with second-graders in the kids ministry. A staff member gets injured during an on-site church activity.

Injuries are surprisingly common at churches. Responding quickly to them can help get an ...

Protecting Your Church in Case of Allegations of Abuse
Protecting Your Church in Case of Allegations of Abuse
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Around a year ago, attorney Richard J. Mathews shared lessons he learned from advising the Boy Scouts of America during the organization’s child sexual abuse crisis. ManagingYourChurch.com recently interviewed him regarding what churches should know about insurance coverage ...

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Against Breakaway Diocese’s Property Claims
What a recent ruling says about church property disputes.
South Carolina Supreme Court Rules Against Breakaway Diocese’s Property Claims
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The South Carolina Supreme Court has reached a split ruling in a case involving a breakaway diocese of the Episcopal Church, stating that the now-separate diocese will not be able to keep the historic properties it tried to claim from the denomination—properties worth ...

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Schools
The religious freedom victory now could mean others in the future.
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Schools
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The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on its most important religious freedom case of the year, and they ruled in favor of a church.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer was a lawsuit brought by a Lutheran church against the director of the Missouri Department ...

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Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity Subscriber access only

Richard Hammar combines research and analysis to take you through a step-by-step process regarding public accommodations laws.
Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries  Subscriber access only

Essential items to consider before you bring new clergy or staff on board.