Legal Q & A

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Ministry Activities & Operations


Q. How can we reduce liability exposures associated with adult care ministries?

...Various elements factor into the answer to this question: the type of ministry you operate, state and city location, hiring practices, safety and security procedures, and more... 

Q. Is our ministry required to display labor law posters?

... In general, ministries with paid employees are required to post labor law posters.

Q. What does our ministry need to do to follow federal OSHA record-keeping requirements?

... Generally, religious organizations are only required to report certain work-related incidents.

Q. What should ministries consider before awarding prizes in a ministry promotion?

...Before embarking on a promotion involving prizes, ministry leaders should consider whether the ministry's promotion is properly organized according to federal and state laws.

Q. What should our ministry consider before engaging in a service project?

...Ministry leaders should be aware of the risks presented by a service project and how to effectively manage those risks.

Q: How can our ministry protect itself against liability related to youth events or special needs ministry activities?

... While there’s no approach that will completely eliminate risk, there is a way for your ministry to help protect itself from liability: a well-drafted Activity Participation Agreement ...

Q: Does our ministry need permission to use pictures of people in our publications and on our websites?

...If the photograph was taken at a public event, and not of a guest speaker or well-known person, permission is not necessarily needed...

Q: Does our ministry need to obtain a special permit before serving or selling food?

...Local law determines if your ministry needs a permit to serve or sell food...

Q: How can we guard against liability related to church discipline?

...Avoid liability by writing a discipline policy that leaders, members, and attendees agree to...

Q: How should our ministry deal with, and document, injuries occurring during activities?

...An effective injury reporting procedure should include completion of a Notice of Injury Form...

Q: One of our church attendees uses a service animal and would like to bring it to church. How should we respond?

...Following a written policy can help ensure that the ministry responds lawfully and consistently when someone asks to bring a service animal to church...

Q: Should we allow a registered sex offender to attend our church?

...You should proceed carefully. Prepare by adopting strategies to manage the situation....

Q: What is an activity participation agreement?

...An activity participation agreement ensures that a participant understands the risks associated with a particular activity...

Q: What should ministry personnel know about mandatory reporting requirements?

...Ministry leaders should familiarize themselves with the mandatory reporting laws in their state and educate employees and volunteers on the requirements they must fulfill...

Q: What steps can our church take to minimize liability during an overnight youth event?

  ...Well-worded Activity Participation Agreements, careful supervision by screened chaperones, and insurance coverage can help to protect your church and your people in the course of overnight youth events.

*Important information: Brotherhood Mutual is pleased to provide LegalAssistance as a complimentary resource. The services we offer through LegalAssistance are intended to provide general legal information to our current and prospective policyholders.

The information we provide is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. Accordingly, no attorney/client relationship is created through this process, and no legal advice will be provided. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.

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