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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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There is a situation with our church secretary and I 't feel

Customer Question

There is a situation with our church secretary and I don't feel that it is right. I would like to know what someone thinks who has more knowledge than I.
The secretary position was salaried and was a 22-hr per week job. The primary duties were to produce monthly newsletters and weekly orders of worship (bulletins) and various other tasks.
She suffered a stroke in early March 2015 and was unable to return to work until June. A volunteer was doing the two publications in her absence. At the end of may the pastor told the volunteer she wasn't needed anymore because she was having someone else do the newsletters. In June the pastor asked the board to vote the secretary's salary status to hourly. She also asked them to vote to divide the salary between the secretary and the "assistant" UNTIL THE SECRETARY IS ABLE TO RETURN TO HER FULL SCHEDULE.
The secretary had returned to work part-time at the beginning of June. She was continuing to do all her duties including the bulletins. After she was back for a couple of weeks she told the pastor she was ready, willing and able to take back the newsletter preparation. At that time the pastor told her the other person would be doing the newsletters from then on because she was more creative and did a better job.
The secretary returned to full time toward the end of June. Shortly thereafter the pastor told her that the assistant would be revamping the bulletins.
The secretary told the pastor that she felt like she was being forced out of her job and it worried her. She was told that she was not, that the helper was doing things for the pastor. The secretary again asked about taking back the newsletters and was told she would never be doing them again.
There has never been a formal review of the secretary's job performance. She was never told that the publications were not satisfactory. In fact she was told more than once that she was never, ever to change anything about either publication.
At best I feel there is some illegality here. At the least I feel the secretary is being poorly used and punished for having suffered a stroke and having to take time off work.
I am looking for an expert opinion/response that I can present to the board.
Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. I will try to give you the best that I can based on the facts.

I must ask--was she cut as far as wages? Also, how many are employed by this church at this time?

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