Mid-Year 2020 Top 25 Legal Questions

Last year our Legal Assist team received 2,652 questions from ministries around the country, covering a range of issues from armed security guards to activity participation agreements.

We’ve compiled a list of the Mid-Year 25 Most Clicked legal FAQs for ministries in 2020.

Numbers indicate yearly pageviews as of 12/31/19. Numbers in parentheses indicate page ranking for that year.

  Question 2020
(as of 6/30)
2019 2018

1

Are ministries allowed to remove disruptive people?

1,784 (1)

2,018 (2)

568 (5)

2

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

1,322 (2)

909 (6)

35 (66)

3

Does the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to our ministry?

1,139 (3)

2,275 (1)

540 (6)

4

How do we protect against liability related to youth/special needs activities?

1,032 (4)

351 (17)

208 (15)

5

Do we have to report all injuries, even those that are insignificant?

1,005 (5)

1,094 (4)

84 (41)

6

What should ministry leaders know about donor-directed donations?

736 (6)

893 (7)

197 (18)

7

Does our ministry need permission to use people’s pictures?

618 (7)

847 (8)

611 (3)

8

Should our church have armed security guards?

538 (8)

1,224 (3)

1,842 (1)

9

Does our ministry need an employer identification number (EIN)?

460 (9)

632 (11)

368 (9)

10

What are the potential tax ramifications for leasing ministry parking lots to outside entities?

459 (10)

350 (18)

111 (33)

11

Can an employee sue a church or ministry for decisions based on religious beliefs?

388 (11)

446 (13)

19 (86)

12

What should our ministry know about bylaws?

286 (12)

636 (10)

260 (12)

13

What if children in our ministry’s care are not immunized?

246 (13)

958 (5)

327 (10)

14

How can our ministry identify an independent contractor for tax purposes?

222 (14)

369 (15)

292 (11)

15

How should our church respond to children with chronic communicable illnesses?

204 (15)

47 (66)

N/A

16

Are clergy members required to sign marriage licenses?

195 (16)

N/A

N/A

17

What risk management issues are associated with lending our church facility?

190 (17)

449 (12)

457 (7)

18

What Should Ministry Personnel Know About Mandatory Reporting Requirements?

190 (18)

379 (14)

129 (26)

19

What is an activity participation agreement?

168 (19)

293 (20)

390 (8)

20

What should our ministry be aware of before recording conversations?

158 (20)

N/A

N/A

21

How should our ministry respond to a subpoena?

151 (21)

358 (16)

76 (44)

22

What types of warning signs should we post around our ministry?

121 (22)

202 (25)

215 (14)

23

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

117 (23)

N/A

N/A

24

How should a church or ministry respond to requests for support from political groups and candidates?

90 (24)

N/A

N/A

25

What rules apply when hiring youth to perform work for our ministry?

85 (25)

N/A

N/A

Legal Assist is a free service for all ministries, whether they’re a customer or not. Our in-house team of attorneys is ready to provide the risk management guidance you’re looking for.*

*Important information: Brotherhood Mutual is pleased to provide Legal Assist as a complimentary resource. The services we offer through Legal Assist 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.