Key point 10-02.03. Churches can be legally responsible on the basis of the respondeat superior doctrine for the actions of their employees only if those actions are committed within the course of employment and further the mission and functions of the church. Intentional and self-serving acts of church employees often will not satisfy this standard.
The doctrine of respondeat superior imputes an employee's negligence to his or her employer only if the negligence occurred in the course of employment. It often is difficult to ascertain whether employees are acting in the course of their employment at the time of a negligent act. Generally, conduct of an employee is in the course of employment if (1) it is of the kind the employee is employed to perform, (2) it occurs during the hours and within the geographical area authorized by the employment relationship, and (3) it is motivated, at ...
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