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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Legal Liability

Volume 1 . Chapter 1 . § 1-03.4
Key point 1-03.4. Churches, like any employer, may be legally responsible for the negligence or other misconduct of employees committed within the course of their employment. This theory of liability generally is known as respondeat superior. It does not apply to self-employed workers.

The characterization of a minister (or other church worker) as an employee or self-employed is sometimes important in assessing legal liability. It is a well-established principle of law that an employer is responsible for the civil wrongs committed by an employee in the course of employment. This principle of employer liability for the misconduct and negligence of employees committed in the course of their employment generally is referred to as respondeat superior. ...

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