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August 2021
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Religious Freedom and the Church
Recommended Reading

Religious Freedom and the Church

From government mandates to public accommodation laws to employment issues, churches must understand what is and isn't constitutionally protected.
MassachusettsMassachusetts

A Teacher Was Not Barred from Suing a Christian College for Discrimination Member access only

The school could not use the “ministerial exception” as a defense against the suit, says Massachusetts court.
Church Employment Issues That Lead to Litigation
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Church Employment Issues That Lead to Litigation

Notable court decisions about common employment disputes.
New JerseyNew Jersey

Church Not Responsible for Hayride Injuries Member access only

But this case highlights the need for churches to set up stringent safeguards for inherently risky activities.
TennesseeTennessee

A Fired Pastor’s Defamation Suit Is Dismissed Member access only

Appeals court said the lawsuit was barred due to the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine.”
MarylandMaryland

Employee Can Sue Church-Affiliated Organization for Disability Discrimination Member access only

Case demonstrates how churches may be subject to federal or state laws banning discrimination based on disability.
IRS: Churches with Employer Identification Numbers Must Keep Information Current

IRS: Churches with Employer Identification Numbers Must Keep Information Current

Prompt updates can help avoid unnecessary interest charges and penalties, deter fraudulent activity.
SBA’s PPP Changes May Help Churches with Loan Forgiveness

SBA’s PPP Changes May Help Churches with Loan Forgiveness

Agency announces new direct forgiveness portal, removal of necessity questionnaires.
Four Key Employee Issues Unique to Churches—and How to Navigate Them
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Four Key Employee Issues Unique to Churches—and How to Navigate Them

How the ministerial exception, job descriptions, internships, and employee handbooks can make your ministry sink or swim.
Applying the Ministerial Exception to Church Employees
Part 1 of 4

Applying the Ministerial Exception to Church Employees Member access only

Understanding this key legal doctrine, how it works, and when it matters—or doesn’t—for specific positions.
Developing Strong Job Descriptions for Employees and Volunteers
Part 2 of 4

Developing Strong Job Descriptions for Employees and Volunteers Member access only

Well-crafted job descriptions are critical to each church’s mission and proper functioning.
Internships: Blessings or Blind Spots?
Part 3 of 4

Internships: Blessings or Blind Spots? Member access only

Here’s how churches can avoid tripping up on important legal, tax, and risk management issues with interns.
The Importance of a Legally Sound Employee Handbook
Part 4 of 4

The Importance of a Legally Sound Employee Handbook Member access only

A handbook not only protects the church and its staff—it also helps create a healthy relationship between employer and employee.
Key Loan Forgiveness Program Change May Help Church Workers with Student Debt
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Key Loan Forgiveness Program Change May Help Church Workers with Student Debt Member access only

Education department expands eligibility after 2017 Trinity Lutheran decision—but acceptance is still no certainty.
Key Tax Dates August 2021

Key Tax Dates August 2021

File Form 941 and meet monthly or semiweekly requirements.