Church Law: helping to navigate the obligations, duties and needs faced by religious organizations, their spiritual leaders, and members.
Churches, temples, and mosques and our religious leaders have long enjoyed a privileged position throughout our nation’s history. In part, this status has derived from the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, but also from long-standing public deference.
However, in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, a profound change has occurred. Nearly all privileges enjoyed by places of worship and by our religious leaders under federal, state, and local law have been challenged in court. Many of these challenges have been successful and today religious organizations and faith leaders find themselves subject to many laws and regulations that previously did not apply to them. Understandably, there is confusion and uncertainty surrounding the application of many of the rules and regulations that our government imposes.
The litany of issues that have ended up in court is long and includes:
- termination of clergy and religious leaders
- clergy compensation
- clergy-penitent privilege
- housing allowance
- incorporation (and dissolution) of churches
- managements of church records
- discipline and removal of members from religious organizations
- property disputes
- religious organizations and the minimum wage law
- termination of employees
- copyright law
Recently, additional issues have received considerable attention, including:
- child abuse reporting obligations
- child care facility regulation
- diversion of church funds
- regulation of religious/pastoral counselors
- legal liability of the organization’s officers
- application of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- negligent selection and supervision of workers
Steven Wee Law Office has the experience working with and in churches, across denominational boundaries. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can exercise our knowledge and experience in resolving the issues you or your religious organization is facing.
Over 18 Years of Estate Planning, Probate & Business Law Experience
Serving the communities of Spokane County and beyond, including Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Deer Park, Nine Mile Falls, Rosalia, Colfax, Airway Heights, Cheney, Mead.
Steven Wee Law Office, P.S.
708 N. Argonne Road, Ste. 1-B,
Spokane Valley, WA