Home > Law

Law

BREAKING—New Overtime Pay Rules Put on Hold
Injunction delays December 1 implementation of new salary threshold.
BREAKING—New Overtime Pay Rules Put on Hold
Image:

New overtime rules that were set to take effect on December 1 have been put on hold after a nationwide injunction was handed down late Tuesday, November 22, by a federal judge in Texas.

The changes would have significantly increased the salary threshold used under the Fair Labor ...

How to Safely Use Copyrighted Video During Church Services
An attorney answers the most common questions she receives about video copyright.
How to Safely Use Copyrighted Video During Church Services
Image:

You found a perfect video clip to highlight the deep spiritual point you wish to make on the platform. People will connect. Lives will be changed. But what is the risk in incorporating it into your message? And what, if anything, can you do to legally play the video clip?

Many ...

Q&A: The Current State of Church-State Relations
What a religious liberty law professor and blogger is noticing in the legal landscape.
Q&A: The Current State of Church-State Relations
Image:

Howard M. Friedman—law professor, Harvard and Georgetown graduate, and published author—started Religion Clausein 2005, a blog that provides “objective coverage of church-state and religious liberty developments, with extensive links to primary sources.” ...

What Would Repealing the Johnson Amendment Actually Mean for Churches?
How a repeal of the amendment that prohibits political endorsements could affect pastors and churches.
What Would Repealing the Johnson Amendment Actually Mean for Churches?
Image:

During this year’s election season, many churches and pastors have likely heard that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has indicated he is in favor of repealing the Johnson Amendment, which governs the political activity of churches. The repeal of the Johnson ...

Condition Barring Sex Offender Unconstitutional • Pastor Admits ‘Misleading’ Abuse Statements: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Condition Barring Sex Offender Unconstitutional • Pastor Admits ‘Misleading’ Abuse Statements: News Roundup
Image:

Prohibition for Sex Offender on Church Attendance Ruled Unconstitutional. “In United States v. Hernandez (ED NY, Sept. 20, 2016), a New York federal district court held unconstitutional a condition of supervised release limiting church attendance that was imposed on defendant ...

BREAKING—New Overtime Rule Challenged by Officials from 21 States
Two new federal lawsuits seek to block the Department of Labor’s overtime changes.
BREAKING—New Overtime Rule Challenged by Officials from 21 States
Image:

In order to block the new overtime rule of the US Department of Labor (DOL), the attorney general for Nevada, Adam Laxalt, filed a lawsuit in federal court on September 20, according to the Associated Press (AP). The new overtime rule is set to take effect on December 1. Attorney ...

Interview: Churches and the State of Ministry Litigation
If you examine the annual lawsuits against churches, the results may surprise you.
Interview: Churches and the State of Ministry Litigation
Image:

Churches may wonder whether there is a growing possibility of churches facing legal proceedings. Is church litigation spiraling out of control?

In this interview, attorney Richard Hammar provides insight into the trend relating to church litigation and points out what churches ...

Interview: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in the Church
What churches should know and the steps they should take to protect children.
Interview: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in the Church
Image:

Attorney Richard Hammar gives six key steps churches should take to mitigate the risk of child sexual abuse in churches. Not only are Hammar’s six steps the most effective in preventing abuse, they are considered the set of reasonable measures churches should take in order ...

Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
Richard Hammar offers a definition for a common mistake that can have serious consequences.
Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
Image:

While you may have heard the word “inurement,” you may be unsure of its definition. In this interview, Richard Hammar provides a definition of inurement.

Could inurement have implications for a church’s tax-exempt status? Hammar addresses instances where ministries ...

Interview: Facility Use and Public Accommodation
What churches should keep in mind when renting out their facilities.
Interview: Facility Use and Public Accommodation
Image:

When churches allow outside entities to use their facilities, churches need to consider the implications that renting their facility might entail. This is especially true with regard to potentially contentious issues, such as same-sex wedding ceremonies.

In this clip of an interview ...

Interview: Ministers and the Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
Does the Court’s ruling affect ministers?
Interview: Ministers and the Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
Image:

Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling last year on the legality of same-sex marriage, ministers may wonder whether that ruling now requires them to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples even if they want to be exempt from performing them.

If ...

Churches and the Americans with Disabilities Act
How compliance helps churches welcome all people—including individuals with disabilities.
Churches and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Image:

The biblical principle of loving your neighbor is threaded into the life of churches. Often, however, churches are failing to love well those in their midst when they inadequately provide accommodation for and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities ...

When a Pastor Is Suspected of Misconduct, Should the Congregation Know?
Consider the legal concerns of communicating the allegation.
When a Pastor Is Suspected of Misconduct, Should the Congregation Know?
Image:

A false allegation [of a pastor's misconduct] could lead to a lawsuit for slander—especially if the pastor denies the allegations, said Frank Sommerville, a Houston-based attorney who specializes in legal issues facing churches.

“You are walking a tightrope in ...

Should the Bible Play a Bigger Role in Politics?
What recent research tells us about Americans’ views on the Bible in the political arena.
Should the Bible Play a Bigger Role in Politics?
Image:

“Overall, Americans hold the Bible in high regard.”

It’s a sweeping statement, but according to findings from the American Bible Society (ABS), it may not be far from the truth.

The ABS’s yearly “State of the Bible” survey, powered by the The ...

Interview Questions Prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
What you should and shouldn't ask an applicant.
Interview Questions Prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
Image:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful for a covered employer to discriminate against a qualified applicant or employee with a disability. The ADA applies to private employers having 15 or more employees and engaged in commerce. The U.S. Equal Employment ...

A Closer Look at Church Internship and Residency Programs
Examining the statistics behind a growing ministry phenomenon.
A Closer Look at Church Internship and Residency Programs
Image:

If you attend a relatively large church, then chances are you may be familiar with church internship or residency programs. In fact, 74 percent of churches with 2,000 members or more have such programs for those hoping to enter ministry.

Recently, Leadership Network conducted ...

Same-Sex Marriage Cases of Church Healthcare, Employment, and Protections: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Same-Sex Marriage Cases of Church Healthcare, Employment, and Protections: News Roundup
Image:

Florida Passes Bill Protecting Churches from Performing Gay Wedding Ceremonies. “Florida law will specify that churches can’t be forced to marry same-sex couples under a bill the Legislature send [sic] to Governor Rick Scott on Thursday [March 3]. Scott’s office ...

Scalia, the Supreme Court, and Your Church
What the justice’s death could mean for cases affecting churches.
Scalia, the Supreme Court, and Your Church
Image:

The recent death of Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has moved the issue of his successor’s appointment—namely, who will get to make the appointment—to center stage in the race for the White House. But what impact ...

The Causes and History of Church Property Tax-Exemption
A podcast interview with Frank Sommerville reveals the long, world history of religious exemption.
The Causes and History of Church Property Tax-Exemption
Image:

Why are churches exempt from property taxes? When was this decided in the United States and by whom? What is the history of tax-exemption behind the decision?

Frank Sommerville, an attorney, CPA, and editorial advisor for Church Law & Tax, discusses the answers to those ...

Experts Featured in Upcoming Church Management Conference
Editorial advisors will present on employment law, health care reform, and more.
Experts Featured in Upcoming Church Management Conference
Image:

The annual Southern Baptist Business Officers Conference (SBBOC) this March in Dallas will help churches learn the latest information on employment law, tax, and compliance issues, and health care reform updates.

A number of editorial advisors from Christianity Today's ...

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

Essential Guide to Liabilities and Duties for Church Boards

Essential Guide to Liabilities and Duties for Church Boards Subscriber access only

Be aware of ways you can expose yourself to personal legal liability.
Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status

Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status Subscriber access only

Understand the requirements of your tax-exempt status.