Unemployment Taxes

Church Law and Tax 1990-01-01 Recent Developments Unemployment Taxes Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Church Law and Tax 1990-01-01 Recent Developments

Unemployment Taxes

The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a state law denying unemployment benefits to employees discharged for “proved misconduct” did not apply to an employee of a Catholic parochial school who was dismissed for marrying “outside the Catholic church” contrary to school policy. The court agreed that “every employer has a right, to some extent, to govern its employees through the establishment of performance standards and rules of conduct the violation of which may be grounds for dismissal.” However, “even though it is the employer who determines whether the violation of such a rule is grounds for dismissal, whether such a violation amounts to [proved misconduct for purposes of unemployment benefits] is another matter. Therefore, even though the employee’s marriage gave [the school] grounds to dismiss her from her teaching position … that fact would not necessarily disqualify her form receiving unemployment compensation benefits.” The court concluded that the “employee’s marriage … did not, in our opinion, constitute the type of misconduct contemplated by [the unemployment compensation law].” Unfortunately, the court chose not to explain its conclusion. St. Pius X Parish Corporation v. Murray, 557 A.2d 1214 (R.I. 1989).

See Freedom of religion, Frazee v. Illinois Department of Employment Security, 109 S. Ct. 1514 (1989).

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