Labor Court recognizes employment relationship between pastor and evangelical church

The church was ordered to register the period of the bond in the pastor's working papers and deliver the tabs for receiving unemployment insurance.
18/10/2017 16h28 - Updated 19/10/2017 17h04
Photo: reproduction

In a unanimous judgment, the Third Chamber of the Regional Labor Court of the 11th Region – AM/RR (TRT11) recognized the employment relationship between an evangelical pastor and the World Church of God's Power. Under the federal judge rapporteur vote Ormy da Conceição Dias Bentes, the decision has collegiate dismissed the claimant's appeal and reformed ruling that had rejected their applications judged.

As a result of the second instance decision, still subject to appeal, the church was ordered to register the bond period (11 November 2011 a 17 March 2016) the pastor's working papers and deliver the tabs for receiving unemployment insurance. Besides that, You must pay the severance and contract sums covering notice, vacation, 13No. wages and FGTS, considering the salary of R $ 2 thousand proven in documents attached to the file, all to be determined after the expiration of the appellate deadlines.

The plaintiff filed a labor lawsuit in April 2016, requiring the recognition of employment and payment of labor rights. As the allegations contained in the application and repeated in the appeal, he worked for the World Church of God's Power for almost five years, period in which exercised the evangelical pastor function, upon receipt of salary and subject to orders and fulfillment of working hours.

By analyzing the feature, the rapporteur pointed out that Article 3 of the Labor Code defines the concept of an employee as the individual who does not provide any kind of service the employer, and in dependence upon this salary. She added that to the employment relationship of the configuration are necessary requirements of personhood, burden, no event in the provision of services and subordination, which it understood demonstrated by the existing evidence in the record.

According to the draftsman, the witness statements confirm the existence of subordination of the pastor to the bishop of the Evangelical Church and the existence of time set for the exercise of work, that is, its not possible nature. As for the documentary evidence, it considered that the receipt copies made by the claimant title “ecclesiastical payment” (specified as prebenda) show the existence of the desired bond, despite the volunteer name.

“Under these conditions, the picture presented here does not constitute a link solely religious, taking another approach, Grumer not any kind of bond, with work done personally, and conditional upon salary, a focus, therefore, nature of employment”, he argued. By basing its position, she quoted Labor Superior Court jurisprudence (TST), already recognized the employment relationship in similar situations.

Finally, a federal judge Ormy Bentes explained that the defendant did not present defense, It presuming, like this, true the facts alleged in the initial, as Article 844 CLT and Precedent 74 do TST.

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