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Church Law & Tax Report

November/December 2006
Articles with a Member Access Only are available only to members.

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Feature Article

The New Pension Reform Law Affects Every Church Member access only

Provisions go far beyond pension plans.

Articles

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Arkansas
Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Member access only

A bankruptcy court in Arkansas ruled that a bankruptcy trustee could not object to a couple's bankruptcy plan on the ground that they proposed to continue making contributions to their church.

Privacy Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that an employee did not have an expectation of privacy in his workplace computer.

Contracts Member access only

A church's decision to discontinue making payments to a former pastor's widow did not amount to a breach of contract.

Church Property Member access only

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the validity of imposing a trust upon the properties of affiliated churches in favor of the national church.

Clergy—Removal - Part 1 Member access only

A federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment from resolving a church music director's disability discrimination claim.

Clergy—Removal - Part 2 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment from resolving a lawsuit brought against a denomination by a dismissed minister.

Clergy—Removal - Part 3 Member access only

A federal court in Connecticut ruled that it was barred from resolving a minister's claim that a church's refusal to hire him amounted to discrimination based on race and national origin.

Confidentiality Member access only

A Florida court ruled that a student at a religious high school could not sue the school as a result of the disclosure of his sexual orientation.

Employment Practices - Part 1 Member access only

A federal court in Oklahoma ruled that a church was not liable on the basis of sexual harassment for the conduct of a minister.

Employment Practices - Part 2 Member access only

A New York court ruled that a church could be sued by a former employee for discriminating against him on the basis of his religion and sexual orientation.

Employment Practices - Part 3 Member access only

A federal appeals court ruled that a minister's age discrimination lawsuit was barred by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Freedom of Religion Member access only

A public school policy prohibiting the rental of school property to churches for religious worship violated the First Amendment guaranty of free speech.

Defamation - Part 1 Member access only

The First Amendment limits, but does not eliminate, a church's liability for defamation.

Defamation - Part 2 Member access only

A District of Columbia court of appeals ruled that a pastor could be sued for defamation for falsely informing a public gathering.

Taxation—Church Property Member access only

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a church's parking lot was exempt from property taxation.

Workers Compensation Member access only

A Louisiana court upheld the denial of workers compensation benefits to an injured worker who had been seen performing compensated services for a church.

Zoning - Part 1 Member access only

A city did not violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by denying a church's request for a permit to operate a day care program in a residential neighborhood.

Zoning - Part 2 Member access only

Local zoning laws generally allow “churches” in residential areas.

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Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage Member access only

Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Understanding Wage and Hour Laws

Understanding Wage and Hour Laws Member access only

Learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it applies to churches.