Contrary to popular belief, there is no general legal requirement that churches give employees sick leave. While most churches do in fact give employees some paid time off each year to be used for sick leave, the law does not require employers to do so in most circumstances.

Under some circumstances, however, the law does require employers to permit employees to take unpaid time off from work for illness, without negative consequences for the employees. Leave from work may be required by the Family and Medical Leave Act or to accommodate a disability. In the case of pregnancy, the church cannot deny leave to an employee for a pregnancy-related condition if the church gives leave to employees for other temporary disabilities.

In the absence of federal law, an increasing number of states, counties and municipalities have chosen to adopt a paid sick leave law. When the church operates or has employees in a jurisdiction that requires paid sick leave, it needs to carefully check the law’s requirements.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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