Travel and Expense Reimbursement Plans

Although extensive travel may not be a common practice for churches, periodic special events may require some clarity about reimbursement and should be spelled out in your employee manual. Expense of approved travel performed in the course of conducting church business should only be reimbursable in accordance with IRS reimbursement regulations and the travel policy […]

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In “general,” churches are not subject to the ADA since the federal law only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. States, however, may have corresponding statutes with different thresholds for compliance. Despite the statutory exemptions available to small employers, churches will usually feel morally inclined to respond to the goals of the Act. […]

Employee Evaluations

As a matter of personal development for employees and fulfillment of the church’s objectives, a regular system of evaluation is encouraged. Many times the church will have members who have HR experience who can be organized into a team and can be utilized to handle this portion of staff relations. In the unfortunate circumstance of […]

Wages and Working Hours

Federal law regarding wages and working hours does not apply to churches, however, state law does. State minimum wage laws apply so make sure you are paying at least the minimum wage rate for Pennsylvania. Please note that at the 31st General Synod in 2017, a resolution was adopted calling for a more just economy and […]

Background Checks

It is very important and a normalcy in today’s world, to obtain background checks on a prospective employee. Certain positions at our churches, like day care, nursery schools, etc., will require it but other employees who have access to children, including church administrators and maintenance staff, should have a pre-employment background check. Please note that […]

Interviewing Potential Staff

Churches, like any other employers, are not allowed to discriminate and this applies generally to both lay and ordained positions. During job application interviews, care must be exercised in asking questions. In 1994, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines for interviews. Below are some general rules as to questions that may be […]

Employee Manuals

Each church should have written personnel policies that are FOLLOWED. However, no matter how you try, the best drafted policies will not cover every personnel issue that may arise. Therefore, these policies may be written with some flexibility. For example, a general statement of principle such as the following provided by our friends at the […]

Employee Benefits

Statutory Benefits Social Security and Medicare – As discussed under our resource about Employment Taxes, all employees are required to participate in Social Security under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act. Contributions will be withheld from the employee’s pay checks for the employee’s share and the church must match the withholdings for the employer’s share. These […]

Employment Taxes

While the local church is “tax-exempt,” employees are certainly subject to multiple taxes with the federal, state, and local governments. As an employer, you must withhold taxes and forward them to the appropriate authorities, as they require. Social Security and Medicare (FICA) – All employees are required to participate in the provisions of the Social […]