My pastor died last year and right now we have a new minister in charge and he does;nt like me and he fire me for no reason and without notice and without the church broad knowing about it. I;ve been playing the organ for over 30 years at this church, what are my rights.
If you have an express agreement with the church giving you the right to be employed there for a defined period of time, or unless terminated for cause, then you are at best an at will employee. As as at will employee you can be terminated at any time for any reason or even for no reason at all.
It is possible you are not even an employee, but instead a contractor or vendor. The terms of your agreement, express or implied would control.
One other issue you raise is authority. Often a church is run by the board of elders or similar group. Others are run by the Senior Pastor. You need to know if the pastor has the authority, or has been given the authority by the Board, to make these kinds of decisions.
One last issue is how you wish to handle this dispute. You can go the worldly route or Biblical route. Do some research on Biblical dispute resolution. There are alternatives to lawsuits for believers.
Good luck to you.
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Unfortunately, the answer is that you probably have no rights.
California is an at-will employment state, which means you can be fired at any time for any reason, or no reason at all, unless the reason is illegal (such as discrimination against a protected class, retaliation for whistle blowing, etc).
Whether the church board approved is an internal matter for them to decide.
This is NOT legal advice. It is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer, and does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should always consult PRIVATELY with an attorney.
As far as employment law goes, you have next to no rights. You can be fired for any reason or no reason. Now, that said, you might have a recourse here. After all, you've been playing for this church for over 30 years. You can certainly try going over the pastor's head, and going to the church elders (the ones who hired the pastor in the first place), and see what they'll do. Also, the pastor may not have had the power to fire you without the board's permission, which may work in your favor. So, you're going to have to play some church politics, but if you've been working for the church for over 30 years, you know how.
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