2018 may have been the year of #MeToo, but sexual and other harassment is a perennial issue for churches, other ministries, and employers. Wagenmaker & Oberly is pleased to recommend Telios Teaches as an excellent resource for these critical areas.
At year’s end, we often reflect on lessons learned and experiences shared, and also on those people and the things for which we are grateful. In a break from our usual fare, what follows is a more personal reflection from our law firm’s attorney Jonathan Hwang on some aspects of the unique nature and culture of Wagenmaker & Oberly.
Orr Not: Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine Bars Pastor’s Claims Arising from Internal Sexual Harassment Investigation
Illinois Courts continue to respect ecclesiastical boundaries in matters of internal church governance. This year, an Illinois court ruled a pastor disciplined for sexual harassment could not seek judicial relief arising from his church denomination’s internal investigation of a sexual harassment claim against him. Instead, the court deferred to the religious institution’s internal mechanisms as a matter of First Amendment “ecclesiastical abstention,” since all statements at issue were made within such internal church proceedings.