Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Compensation Dispute
Court rules that it's against the First Amendment to resolve a priest's compensation dispute with his diocese.
North Carolina
Categories:
Key point 8-08.7. Ministers who are employed to perform ministerial services, and who are paid a salary that meets or exceeds the "salary test," are professional employees exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ministers not compensated on a salary basis, or who earn a salary below the salary test, may not be covered by the Act. Department of Labor regulations suggest that the Act does not apply to any ministers, and a few federal courts have ruled that the so-called ministerial exception prevents the application of the Act to ministers.

* A North Carolina court ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a priest's compensation dispute with his diocese. A Catholic priest claimed that his diocese had failed to assign him to a suitable position and failed to properly compensate him for his services. He submitted his grievance to the Vatican's "Congregation for Clergy." The Congregation later instructed the diocese to "provide some priestly ministry for this priest and ensure that he is henceforth to be provided with an adequate means of livelihood."

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Posted: July 1, 2011
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