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Church Employee Fired After Raising Objections to Financial Policies

Court rules that woman can sue church for violation of public policy and emotional distress.

Key Point 8-22. In most states, employees who are hired for an indefinite period are considered "at will" employees. This means that the employment relationship may be terminated at will by either the employer or employee, with or without cause, and with or without notice. The courts and state legislatures have created a number of exceptions to the at will employment rule. These exceptions limit the right of an employer to terminate an at will employee. Employees who are hired for a specific term are not at will employees, and they may be terminated only if the employer has "good cause."

Key Point 8-25. Employers often evaluate some or all of their employees on a periodic basis. Such evaluations can help employees be more productive, but they also can be used as evidence of discrimination if an employee who is a member of a protected class under a state or federal employment law is terminated ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2008