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Church Law & Tax Report

January/February 2007
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Notable Quotes Subscriber access only

Self-Assessment Quiz Subscriber access only

Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Multi State
Child Abuse Reporting

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Child Abuse Subscriber access only

Mandatory reporters who fail to report abuse can be subject to possible criminal liability and can be sued for money damages by the victims of abuse.
New York
Church Property Disputes

Church Property Ownership Subscriber access only

A denominational agency was entitled to the property of a local church following a vote to disaffiliate itself from the denomination.
Payroll Tax Reporting

Failing to Report Compensation Subscriber access only

Pastors who take money from their church without authorization, and fail to report it on their tax return, may be subject to criminal liability.
New Mexico
Freedom of Religion

Age and Disability Discrimination Subscriber access only

Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the First Amendment from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.
Employment Practices

Disability Discrimination Subscriber access only

The application of the ministerial exception to FMLA claims.

Defamation and Church Clergy Subscriber access only

A church's protection from defamation lawsuits.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Church Liability for Sexual Harassment Subscriber 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.
New York
Freedom of Religion

Religious and Sexual Orientation Discrimination Subscriber 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

Age Discrimination and Denomination Policy Subscriber access only

A minister's age discrimination lawsuit challenging a denominational policy requiring the retirement of ministers at 70 years of age was barred by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Negligent Supervision and Sexual Offenses Subscriber access only

A court rejected a plaintiff's attempt to treat national, regional, and local churches as a "single employer" for liability purposes.

Q&A: Business Meeting Voting Subscriber access only



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Understanding Labor Laws

Understanding Labor Laws Subscriber access only

Best practices for complying with regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.
Board Basics for Churches

Board Basics for Churches Subscriber access only

From church records to legal risks and liabilities—what your church board should know.