Pastor, Church & Law
Wrongful Discharge of an Employee
Key point 6-07.07. Church board members may be personally liable if they participate in a decision to terminate an employee in a way that violates the employee's legal rights.
According to the tradition rule, an employee hired for an indefinite term was considered terminable at the will of either the employer or the employee. No "cause" was necessary. In recent years, the courts generally have permitted discharged "at will" employees to sue their former employer on the basis of one or more legal theories, including:
• Wrongful discharge in violation of public policy (e.g., employee terminated for filing a workmen's compensation claim, or for reporting illegal employer activities); • Intentional infliction of emotional distress (e.g., ...
Copyright © 2008 by Christianity Today. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."
Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.