I can't tell...

... if I am being abused. I work in a Church, and they say it is volunteer work, but from what I can tell, they simply recruit vulnerable adults like myself and get us to work for free. If we start asking questions about unionization or labor law, they act like we are mentally ill because "God says we are to serve." But the priests are paid and all the staff are paid. I have had friends tell me I am being abused and that I should at least be paid wages. I decided to look it up in the bible, and it says "Do not oppress a hired hand who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. 15You are to pay his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and depends on them. Otherwise he may cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin. " (Deuteronomy 24:14-15) But they also think Jesus "freed" them from the law, now all they have to do is "love, love, love." I looked at the Employment Standards Act, and it does not say Churches are exempt. So, Confessions, I submit it to you humble jurors, am I being abused? Should I go to Employment Standards?


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Dec 2, 2019 at 11:17am

Is this a paid position from the church ?
Or are they expecting you to give your free, valable time.
Which I think they are.
No money in the collection plate for an honest days work. Huh
Church of God
Priest needs a New BMW.
Does God aprove? Probably Not
Seems Shifty to me.
Check it out!!!

16 6Rating: +10


Dec 2, 2019 at 11:39am

yeah I'd bring it up. cause a stink. don't let that church belittle u.

Holy Shit

Dec 2, 2019 at 11:43am

For Christ's sake, if you don't want to do volunteer work, then don't do it. Go find a real job that pays.

49 7Rating: +42


Dec 2, 2019 at 12:07pm

When I read "I decided to look it up in the bible" realize this must be a fake post.

With that said if it's not I'm still really surprised you posted this. "volunteer work" is for older people who do not need income but do need something to do and students or people trying to build a resume and can't get work in that field. But we know churches are alive to make money. soooo....

18 4Rating: +14

Same Boat

Dec 2, 2019 at 12:25pm

Here's the thing about unpaid work - if you don't like it, you don't have to go to it. What are they going to do - fire you?

Ummm get out ...

Dec 2, 2019 at 12:57pm

Work versus volunteer work are very different things. Volunteering is willingly offering your time without any expectations of being paid in wages/food/housing. There are paid positions in the church but it does not sound like you hold that type of position.

18 6Rating: +12

OP Here...

Dec 2, 2019 at 1:28pm

... the Employment Standards Act only has an exception for volunteer firefighters. The act's construction, as with all legislation, is somewhat ambiguous:

""employee" includes

(a) a person, including a deceased person, receiving or entitled to wages for work performed for another,

(b) a person an employer allows, directly or indirectly, to perform work normally performed by an employee,

(c) a person being trained by an employer for the employer's business,

(d) a person on leave from an employer, and

(e) a person who has a right of recall;

"employer" includes a person

(a) who has or had control or direction of an employee, or

(b) who is or was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the employment of an employee; "

So, for example, we pick up garbage after the church service, which, if we didn't do it, the building staff would. We also administer communion, which the Priest is paid to do.

But 'work normally performed by an employee' could also be taken more liberally, to mean that if you're doing X, and X is something people are normally paid to do, like answer a telephone or pick up garbage, you're doing work normally performed by an employee. This definition isn't necessarily specific to an institution. Imagine an institution had a practice of reducing employment costs by getting volunteers to pick up garbage. And let's say they had no staff to do it. So, the garbage is picked up by volunteers or not at all. Well, the fact that a business had such a business plan and "normally" did things that way, would it mean the employment standards act didn't apply because they were really good at conning vulnerable people into doing work people are normally paid to do?

8 11Rating: -3

Go get yourself another job

Dec 2, 2019 at 1:54pm

One that pays. Volunteers by definition usually don't get paid.

21 5Rating: +16


Dec 2, 2019 at 3:52pm

a Volunteer is defined as:
“… persons who choose to provide services for non-profit organizations or charities for which they do not expect compensation.

You are missing an important part of the employment act. Churches are a non-profit organization. You choose whether to volunteer or not to. Stop bitching and quit volunteering if you don't like it. You will get nowhere trying to force them into paying you as it is volunteer work.

11 9Rating: +2


Dec 2, 2019 at 5:09pm

If you don't want to do volunteer work, don't do it. No one is forcing you.

9 8Rating: +1

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