A Threat to Church Employment Policies
A Threat to Church Employment Policies
Churches must provide 'consideration' for policy changes—or else jeopardize their validity.

Most churches have adopted employment policies, either in a policy manual or as individual policies. Examples include policies addressing:

employee standards
social media
cell phone usage
expense reimbursements
overtime
privacy
personnel files
safety and security
insurance
compensation and benefits
discipline and dismissal
evaluations
intellectual property
conflicts of interest
leaves of absence

For many churches, policies change. Additions and modifications are common. Church leaders often assume that additions and changes automatically apply to current as well as future employees. But this often will not be the case, due to a fundamental requirement of contract law called "consideration." In order for a contract to be enforceable, each party must receive something of value ("consideration") in exchange for his or her commitment. To illustrate, if X and Y enter into a contract for the sale of X's home, the consideration for X's commitment to sell the home is the price to be paid by Y. And, the consideration for Y's promise to pay the purchase price is the home itself. The requirement of consideration is what distinguishes contracts from gifts. In a gift, the recipient receives the benefit of the donated property without any value provided in return to the donor.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted: August 26, 2014
View All
from our store
Nonprofit Financial Oversight

Nonprofit Financial Oversight

The concise and complete guide for boards and finance committees
Church IT

Church IT

Learn how to find the best solutions when choosing software and hardware for your church.
Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage

Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Your Guide to Employee Handbooks

Your Guide to Employee Handbooks

If updated regularly, an employee handbook can offer valuable legal protection against civil court claims made by disgruntled staff members.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Let ChurchSalary do the work. Get personalized compensation reports for staff and pastors.