Although a house of worship is a place of peace, for clergy, it’s also a place of employment – and sometimes, conflicts can arise that diminish that peace. At Outten & Golden, we offer legal services to rabbis, ministers, and clergy of various faiths in employment-related matters. We understand the unique employment challenges that clergy face, and we have extensive experience helping clergy effectively assert their rights.
UNDERSTANDING THE MINISTERIAL EXCEPTION
If you are a clergy member, it's essential to realize that in the employment law context, some religious institutions enjoy certain legal protections that other employers don’t. For example, a legal doctrine known as the “ministerial exception” allows religious organizations to seek dismissal of certain employment law claims if particular elements are met. Unfortunately, although it was initially created to protect religious institutions from being forced to consider or retain clergy with beliefs or practices outside of their belief system, this legal exception, like most, is subject to abuse.
At Outten & Golden, we understand the complexities of this doctrine and the appropriate challenges to its application. If you are facing termination or other employment-related challenges, you need a legal team on your side that can help you pursue the best legal strategies to protect yourself and assert your rights.
ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT-RELATED MATTERS
In addition to helping clergy understand and navigate complex legal issues like the ministerial doctrine, the experienced attorneys at Outten & Golden offer a variety of other employment-related legal services to clergy, including:
The relationship between clergy and congregation is unique. It is a relationship that should be handled with care, and sensitivity to that special relationship is required during negotiations. At Outten & Golden, we understand that, and we have extensive experience in navigating those negotiations and helping clergy effectively assert their rights concerning the variety of employment issues they face.
OUTTEN AND GOLDEN – HERE FOR YOU
When disagreements or unfair treatment escalate to the point that you need advice on whether legal action is necessary, Outten & Golden’s seasoned litigators are here to help. Whatever your situation, we’ll apply our extensive experience and understanding of the law to pursue the best legal strategies on your behalf.
If you are a rabbi, minister, or other clergy member and need legal guidance regarding an employment issue, we're here to help. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances with a knowledgeable and experienced Outten & Golden attorney.
* Please note that prior successes do not guarantee future outcomes.