Church And Ministry Law Practice

- Employment Law, Employee Issues

Generally, employment law is the same for church organizations as for other nonprofits. However, there are several areas of employment law that are of particular importance to church organizations, including the use of volunteer workers. Various federal labor statutes do not apply to volunteers (for example, Fair Labor Standards Act). While religious organizations are generally exempt under Title VII (Federal law) as to religious matters and personnel hiring based on religious considerations, such organizations are still subject to Title VII for discriminatory conduct based on race, national origin or sex (except with the possible exception of hiring pastoral staff). Thus, the determination of the legal status of volunteers does involve potentially significant federal and state employment (and tax) law issues.

Our attorneys advise church clients in the following general areas of employment law:
  • Assistance with FICA issues.
  • Applicable legal requirements regarding unemployment and disability insurance benefits.
  • Employee disputes, and complaints (particularly complaints of harassment or discrimination involving supervisory personnel).
  • Compliance with applicable federal and state labor statutes and regulations.
  • Theft by employees of church and ministry funds.
  • Drafting of employment agreements for key administrative and pastoral staff.
  • Drafting of employee benefit and retirement plans for pastoral staff and other church employees (as an alternative or supplement to IRC ยง403(b) plans).
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