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 Insurance Board may provide the needed flexibility:

“These personnel policies are adopted as a general guideline for the personnel administration of the church.  When administering these guidelines, the church will make a reasonable attempt to follow the policies.  However, should circumstances, solely in the opinion of the church, preclude strict application of a policy, the spirit and intent of the guideline will control over the specific text of the policy.”

Personnel policies should include guidelines for the following (in no particular order):

  • Employer responsibilities
  • Equal employment opportunity and non-discriminatory policy and objectives
  • Sexual harassment and other types of harassment policies
  • Exempt and non-exempt employees, including temporary and part-time
  • Trial (probationary) period
  • Employment at will and dress code policy
  • Independent contractors
  • Wage and salary administration
  • Work week, pay periods, and overtime
  • Employee performance evaluation
  • Termination of employment
  • Time off, including vacations, sabbaticals, personal leave, sick leave, FMLA, military and jury duty
  • Relocation and moving expenses
  • Training and development expenses
  • Benefits and employee welfare and pension benefits including workers’ compensation
  • Complaint and grievance procedures
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Whistle blower policy
  • Personal use of equipment and personal internet usage policies
  • Travel and expense reimbursement policies
  • And any others as may be applicable to your church’s particular situation

Required Posters

Employment regulations require the posting of certain notices, both federal and state. The US Department of Labor provides help in identifying these requirements based on specific employer characteristics, on its eLaws-First Step Poster Advisor at this address:  www.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm.