Labor Court in Minas eliminates employment relationship between pastor and church

Labor Court in Minas eliminates employment relationship between pastor and church
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The request for an employment relationship made by a pastor against an evangelical church was denied by the Minas Gerais Labor Court. The sentence was handed down by the Diamantina Labor Court, in Jequitinhonha, where the plaintiff claimed that he worked at the church for 12 years, requesting payment of labor and severance pay, in addition to the note on the work card.

In the labor action, the man argued that he worked at the church from 2010 to 2022, initially as an assistant and, from 2014, as a pastor. He also claimed to have worked in the states of Rondônia and Piauí, carrying out various activities, such as “cooking, serving snacks, filming events, driving and carrying out bricklaying services”.

During the period, he would have received “cost allowances” ranging between R$400 and R$3,000, the latter being the salary received as a pastor. In 2022, the religious leader would have decided to end the provision of services, according to him because he “can no longer handle so many roles other than pastor”.

On the other hand, the church denied any existence of employment, maintaining that the relationship between the parties involved only “religious” and “non-economic” reasons. “His work in the church was voluntary, vocational, due to the commitment he made to the ministry of his faith”, added the religious institution.

In view of this, after hearing the witnesses listed in the case, judge Edson Ferreira de Souza Júnior concluded that the pastor acted in a “voluntary, religious and vocational manner, motivated by faith”, which excludes the configuration of the employment relationship.

“Submission to church doctrine is not related to the contractual scope, but is motivated by vocation, intimate convictions, beliefs to which the claimant adhered spontaneously, without any imposition, not to be confused with the typical legal subordination of the employee”, considered the magistrate.

The decision is no longer subject to appeal.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Labor Court Minas eliminates employment relationship pastor church

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