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Church Law & Tax Report

November/December 2007
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Feature Article

Articles

Church "Sound Rooms" Subscriber access only

Notable Quotes Subscriber access only

Recent Developments

Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches, with Richard R. Hammar
Massachusetts
Charitable Contributions

Fundraising and Designated Gifts Subscriber access only

Church board members may be personally liable for diverting designated funds or trust funds to some other purpose.
Florida
Child Abuse Reporting

Child Abuse Reporting Protection in Counseling Subscriber access only

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.
California
Church Property Disputes

Church Property and Denominational Ownership Subscriber access only

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.
Alabama
Church Records

Membership and Reviewing Church Records Subscriber access only

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that church members who lost their membership lost their right as members to inspect church records.
Iowa
Clergy - Removal

Determing 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.
Ohio
Employment Practices

Age Discrimination Lawsuits Subscriber access only

A federal court in Ohio ruled that a dismissed church employee could sue her church for age discrimination.
Maryland
Employment Practices

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees Subscriber access only

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.
New York
Employment Practices

FMLA Requirements Subscriber access only

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.
Georgia
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Conducting Background Checks Subscriber access only

An employer's failure to conduct criminal records checks on its employees might be viewed by a jury as evidence of negligent hiring.
New York
Personal Injuries on Church Property or During Church Activities

Off-Property Injuries Subscriber access only

A New York court ruled that a public high school cannot be liable for injuries occurring to students after they leave school property.
New York
Schools

Risk of Injury on Church Property Subscriber access only

A variety of defenses are available to a church that is sued as a result of an injury occurring on its premises.
Kansas
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Negligent Hiring Liabilities Subscriber access only

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.

What Crimes Disqualify Someone from Working with Kids? Subscriber access only

Find out what criteria your state uses.

What Kind of Severance Agreement Should We Offer? Subscriber access only

How to determine pay when you let an employee go.

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FREE: 70 Insights to Keep Your Church Safe, Legal, and Financially Sound

FREE: 70 Insights to Keep Your Church Safe, Legal, and Financially Sound Subscriber access only

Tips on important topics from our resources.
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws Subscriber access only

Did you know pastors and other church staff may be required by law to report child abuse and that laws on this vary state by state?