Churches and Workers’ Compensation

Recently a parish treasurer contacted the finance office to ask this question: Are churches required to have workers’ compensation?

Frank Gates is a third party administrator of workers’ compensation in Ohio. They have determined that BWC coverage is required for our affiliated churches. Carolyn Fletcher, our diocesan liaison at Frank Gates, states all churches that have any employees, including maintenance, must carry or have workers’ comp coverage. If the church receives a notice from Frank Gates regarding joining or electing a Group Rating Program, it is elective or voluntary. A church that joins a rating group can potentially have reduced premium cost as a result of being in a group which allows cost sharing based on all members of the group, but is not required.

So yes, a church should have workers’ comp coverage if it has any employees. However, the church does not have to be part of a group ratings program. The participation of a church in a rating group could save the church on premiums charged by BWC.

Congregations with questions concerning workers’ compensation should contact the finance office. Angela Byrd can be reached at 800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311, or by email at

David Robinson serves as Chief Financial Officer for the diocese. Contact him at