David Johnston-Primary 2018

Senate approves measure easing workers’ compensation burden on churches

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Senate gave final passage to a measure this week exempting churches and other religious organizations from being required to buy workers’ compensation insurance for ministers that do not have oral or written agreements for wages or salary in Kentucky. House Bill 306, sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville, will relieve small churches of burdensome insurance premiums and fines for non-compliance.

“In many small community churches, pastors do not receive salaries and therefore are not church employees,” said Rep. Meredith. “These selfless servants minister to their congregations and provide essential services to the community because they are called to do so. The offerings collected at these churches should be used to sustain their congregations and maintain their churches, not to pay fines issued by bureaucrats in Frankfort.”

In the past, churches have been fined thousands of dollars for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for these pastors. This bill will also create an exemption for caretakers who work fewer than 10 hours per week from having to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance as they should be classified as independent contractors not church employees.

The measure passed the Senate by a 35-2 margin and is on its way to Gov. Bevin for his signature.

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