Church Law & Tax Report
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Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Church board members may be personally liable for diverting designated funds or trust funds to some other purpose.
Child Abuse; Child Abuse Reporting
A Florida appeals court ruled that counseling notes prepared by a psychotherapist during counseling sessions with a minister accused of child abuse were not protected against disclosure in court.
Church Members; Church Property; Church Property Disputes
A California court ruled that a provision in a church's deed that required church property to revert to a denominational agency was legally enforceable by the civil courts.
Church Members; Church Membership; Church Records
The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that church members who lost their membership lost their right as members to inspect church records.
Breach of Contract; Clergy - Removal
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.
A federal court in Ohio ruled that a dismissed church employee could sue her church for age discrimination.
A federal court in Maryland addressed the question of whether a secretary is entitled to overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 during the same work week.
A federal court in New York ruled that a church pension board did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act of the Family and Medical Leave Act when it dismissed an HIV-positive employee.
Employment Practices; Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers
An employer's failure to conduct criminal records checks on its employees might be viewed by a jury as evidence of negligent hiring.
Church Property; Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities
A New York court ruled that a public high school cannot be liable for injuries occurring to students after they leave school property.
Church Property; Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities; Schools
A variety of defenses are available to a church that is sued as a result of an injury occurring on its premises.
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers
A federal court in Kansas ruled that a victim of child abuse made a viable claim against a charity that hired the molester as a youth worker despite knowledge of a history of sexual misconduct.
Find out what criteria your state uses.
How to determine pay when you let an employee go.