Negligent Supervision of Church Workers—In General
Tip. A number of courts, in addressing the question of whether clergy are employees or self-employed for federal income tax reporting purposes, have observed that churches generally exercise relatively little supervision or control over clergy. See, e.g., Weber v. Commissioner, 60 F.3d 1104 (4th Cir. 1995). Such cases can be used by churches in defending against negligent supervision claims involving clergy misconduct.
Churches can use reasonable care in selecting workers, but still be liable for injuries sustained during church activities on the basis of negligent supervision. The term negligence means carelessness or a failure to exercise reasonable care. Negligent supervision, then, refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the supervision of church workers and church activities. Churches have been sued on the basis of negligent supervision in a variety of contexts. Consider ...
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