Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I work catholic church in the Joliet diocese in Illinois. I…

Customer Question
Good Afternoon. I work for a...
Good Afternoon.
I work for a catholic church in the Joliet diocese in Illinois. I am a music director - full time employed since March of 2015.
the pastor is looking to hire a person to direct the choir. That is fine. However, he wishes to have a meeting tomorrow afternoon- Friday Feb 12th - with the prospective person (she has not been hired yet). During this meeting he is planning on planning liturgies for holy week and easter as well as looking at the music repertoire of the parish - and - discussion job descriptions and responsibilities.
My question is - are my rites being violated is openly discussing job descriptions and responsibilities openly like this? Even more so - discussing this with this potential choir director who at this point, is nothing more than a parishioner?
I would think any discussion about job responsibilities would have already been had between he and I prior to interviewing anyone for the position but that has not happened. I do not plan to have this "parishioner" for right now, sit there in this meeting and help decide what my job will or will not consist of.
What are my rights? Should I participate in this meeting or not? All too often I think the church thinks they are above the law and I believe this is part of the problem here. The pastor seems to think this should be an open discussion - I do not. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Employment Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/11/2016
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,167
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, unless you can show that you're being discriminated based upon race, age, gender, or disability, you probably have no case against the church, and your rights would not be violate here.

Illinois is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). a But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion. Now given that it's a church and the 1st amendment does give freedom of expression of religion, the church can even discriminate against you based on religion.

In short, they can do this, can require that you be there, etc... Whether or not you should, that's up to you, but if I were you I'd want some input into the matter.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service as OK Service or higher. It's only then I am credited.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an employment lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,167
18,167 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

ScottyMacEsq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

13,334 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,490 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,478 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,029 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

18,167 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
In my parish we have mostly women serving as Ministers of
In my parish we have mostly women serving as Ministers of Holy Communion at all the Mass's. I am one of the oldest parishioners in the parish and I have seen how the women have taken over just about e… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
14,185 satisfied customers
My preschool son was accepted into their program in
My preschool son was accepted into their program in February. Can I sue the Diocese of San Diego/Parish school for retracting his admission when I disclosed that he is speech delayed? Isn't this discr… read more
Taylor
Taylor
Attorney
Juris Doctor
214 satisfied customers
I work as a private school principal, and I'm 5 months into
I work as a private school principal, and I'm 5 months into a one-year contract. My boss is harassing me and trying to fire me, and need to know if I can do anything about it. 1) Since I lived in a di… read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
I work for a church as a musician and was -off for the
I work for a church as a musician and was laid-off for the summer due to budget cuts. NYS Dept. of Labor denied my wages from the church because they categorized them as primarily religious duties at … read more
Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,510 satisfied customers
Hired to be the business manager for a Catholic Church. After
Hired to be the business manager for a Catholic Church. After 3 years, a new pastor was assigned. He began to distribute funds to himself that was not in the Diocesan Priest Compensation Policy. I rep… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I worked for a Catholic Church in PA and resigned because the
I worked for a Catholic Church in PA and resigned because the pastor didn't want me there and created a hostile work envirnoment for me. I told noone except my family that I was resigning - he demande… read more
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,007 satisfied customers
Ive worked for a Catholic Diocese for over 4 decades as an
I've worked for a Catholic Diocese for over 4 decades as an organist playing every weekend, all the holidays, working with the choir, everything on a regular basis. I was paid monthly- they totaled up… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,478 satisfied customers
1.Was a pastor, disclosed recent diagnosis of disability, board
1.Was a pastor, disclosed recent diagnosis of disability, board met in secret within 1 week of disclosure without me as the ex officio and CEO and without prior notice to me to discuss my role, they d… read more
TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
4,347 satisfied customers
Yes, I asked a question back in October, and I have gathered
Yes, I asked a question back in October, and I have gathered even more information. Now my employer is trying to get rid of me, because I know too much information. The United Methodist Church follows… read more
Tina
Tina
Doctoral Degree
83 satisfied customers
I am a part-time music teacher in a parochial school. Last
I am a part-time music teacher in a parochial school. Last spring, literally on my own time, I had to deal with a serious health issue (lumpectomy which turned out to be cancerous; however, I only had… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
I have been a paid organist and choir director in my church
I have been a paid organist and choir director in my church for eight years. There has never been a job description. The pastor and I met to plan services and begin working on a job description. His f… read more
Tina
Tina
Doctoral Degree
83 satisfied customers
In the spring of 2010 while I serving as assistant dean in
In the spring of 2010 while I serving as assistant dean in a Christian school in a neighboring city, I was asked by the pastoral assistant of my church to "come home" and become the director of our ch… read more
KUMI95
KUMI95
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
17 satisfied customers
Hello, I am a 59-year-old woman who has been a part-time Office
Hello, I am a 59-year-old woman who has been a part-time Office Manager (around 28 hours/week) at a church in Colorado for over six years. One year ago the pastors who hired me retired and two new pas… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
As of June 1, 2011, I am on furlough from my job for one month.
As of June 1, 2011, I am on furlough from my job for one month. However, because of the nature of my job, I have not been able to take my vacation I have earned. I have been told by my employer that I… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
I am an exempt Parish Manager of a Catholic church on the campus
I am an exempt Parish Manager of a Catholic church on the campus of a college. I work 50-60 hours per week at the office, and more time at home. I wear many hats throughout the day and am often called… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
I worked for the Catholic Church for 4 years as a Communications
I worked for the Catholic Church for 4 years as a Communications Director. They "suggested" I resign because I started living with a man. I am a woman. Is this legal?… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
I worked for 7 years in my church as choir director without
I worked for 7 years in my church as choir director without any reprimands, verbal or written, had excellent evaluations by my immediate supervisors my most recent in Nov., 2009. On 1/6/10 I was fired… read more
Anne_C
Anne_C
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
13 satisfied customers
I left my job with a catholic church as the music minister
I left my job with a catholic church as the music minister because I felt I was being forced to worship and promote a faction of the catholic church called " charismatic ". I am a traditional practici… read more
Cowgirl Lawyer
Cowgirl Lawyer
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctorate
1,266 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x