Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

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

Inapplicability to Nonprofit Organizations

Volume 4 . Chapter 10 . § 10-02.4
Key point 10-02.4. The fundamental policy supporting the doctrine of respondeat superior is "risk allocation." That is, an employer can allocate or shift the risk of injuries caused by the operation of its business to the consumers of its products and services by increasing the cost of those products and services to reflect the cost of personal injury claims. This policy has no application to churches and other charities that are incapable of exacting higher "contributions" from their members to cover personal injury claims. Some courts have recognized the impropriety of applying the respondeat superior doctrine to religious organizations.

The policy considerations supporting vicarious liability rest upon the fundamental principle of risk allocation. ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

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.


Receive a customized salary report for up to 18 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.

Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy

Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy Subscriber access only

Learn why it is essential your church develop a risk management strategy and how to implement the strategy in your church.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Avoiding Church Lawsuits Subscriber access only

Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.