Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Arbitration - Part 1
A federal appeals court ruled that an employer could dismiss employees who refused to agree to a new “mandatory arbitration” policy.
Key point 10-16.8. Churches have various defenses available to them if they are sued as a result of a personal injury. One such defense is an arbitration policy. By adopting an arbitration policy, a church can compel members to arbitrate specified disputes with their church rather than pursue their claim in the civil courts.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability

* A federal appeals court ruled that an employer could dismiss employees who refused to agree to a new "mandatory arbitration" policy in an employment handbook that required all employment related disputes to be resolved by arbitration. A company issued a new employee handbook to its employees. The handbook included an arbitration provision that required all claims by employees arising out of their employment to be resolved through arbitration. The arbitration provision specified:

The company and I each agree and understand that we choose arbitration instead of litigation to resolve any dispute between us. The company and I each understand that we have a right or opportunity to litigate disputes through a court, but we prefer to resolve our disputes through arbitration. Each of the parties to this employment arbitration policy voluntarily and knowingly waive any right they have to a jury trial either pursuant to arbitration under this clause or pursuant to a court action by the company. The company and I agree and understand that all disputes arising under case law, statutory law and all other laws, including but not limited to, all contract, tort, workmen's compensation, retaliatory discharge, Title VII claims or actions, and all actions based upon any form of discrimination (cumulatively referred to herein as "employment related disputes" for the purposes of this contract) based on a legal claim will be subject to binding arbitration in accordance with this contract.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted: July 1, 2003
View All
from our store
Your Guide to Employee Handbooks

Your Guide to Employee Handbooks

If updated regularly, an employee handbook can offer valuable legal protection against civil court claims made by disgruntled staff members.
Understanding Labor Laws

Understanding Labor Laws

Regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.
Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Safe Hiring Practices for Ministries

Essential items to consider before you bring new clergy or staff on board.
Immigration & the Church

Immigration & the Church

Keep your church safe and legal and as you strive to serve the immigrant communities in your context.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Let ChurchSalary do the work. Get personalized compensation reports for staff and pastors.