Nonprofit Legal Alerts

The materials in our Resources section are for informational purposes only, without any representation that they are accurate or complete. These publications do not constitute legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and any other person, nor are they an offer to create such a relationship. These publications are current as of the date written, but laws change over time and vary from state to state. As a result, the information presented here may not be timely and/or appropriate for any state not specifically addressed in a publication. Consult an attorney if you have questions regarding the content of any publication.

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A Practical Guide to Disability Accommdation in the Nonprofit Workplace

Posted on October 31, 2017

Disability accommodation issues can be challenging in any workplace, including the nonprofit workplace. This article provides general information and guidance for nonprofits on how to identify an accommodation request under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how to address such a request once it is received.

Because requests for accommodation can raise significant legal issues, Pro Bono Partnership clients should contact us if they have any questions about such a request, or if they are contemplating denying such a request.

DACA and Tax Exempt Charities

Posted on October 4, 2017

Many tax exempt charities are interested in presenting their views regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival policy, commonly referred to as “DACA.” The policy, initially implemented by President Obama, permitted certain illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to remain here and apply for work permits. President Trump has rescinded the policy but provided a six-month effective date for the change. Accordingly, Congress may pass legislation during this period to codify all or elements of DACA. For example, certain Senators have introduced the “Success Act” which would codify certain elements of DACA. This article will discuss the extent a charity may be involved in this policy issue without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status.

Proposed Overtime Rule Struck Down by Texas Court: What Does This Mean For Employers?

Posted on September 7, 2017

Last week, the federal district court in Texas issued a final order striking down the modified overtime rule proposed by the Obama administration, which would have raised the salary level for exemption from overtime from $455 per week to $913 per week. The court held that the Department of Labor (DOL) is allowed to include both a salary and duties test to determine eligibility for overtime, but the amount of salary proposed by the Obama Administration’s DOL was too high. Prior to the ruling, the proposed change to the overtime rule had been “on hold’ based on a preliminary injunction issued by the same court on November 22, 2016.

What does this mean for nonprofit and other employers? While an appeal of the original preliminary injunction issued in November of 2016 is still pending, it is unlikely that the appeal will move forward after this decision. The DOL has already called for public comment to assist it in proposing a new overtime rule, and will now likely move forward with the administrative process required to develop and propose a different modification to the overtime rule. For now, the rule prior to the Obama Administration’s proposal, including both a duties test and the requirement of a salary in excess of $455 per week for most exemptions from overtime, remains in effect.

Please contact your Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta attorney if you have any questions.

Property Tax – Does Your Nonprofit Have to Pay?

Posted on August 3, 2017

Does your nonprofit own real property? Does it plan to purchase real property (or hope to have it donated)? If so, don’t assume that your nonprofit will not have to pay property tax. Real property owned by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in Georgia is not automatically exempt from property tax. The property must qualify for one of the listed exemptions and the owner must apply for exemption and be approved.

Visit Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta’s website for a webcast and an article that cover whether a nonprofit’s owned real property is exempt from Georgia’s property tax, how to apply for property tax exemption, and best practices for maintaining that exemption.

If your nonprofit’s application for property tax exemption was denied, check out these resources and then contact your PBPA attorney if you need additional assistance. https://www.pbpatl.org/resources/tax/property-tax/

Registering for Charitable Solicitation

Posted on July 7, 2017

In order to protect the public from fraud, most states have enacted laws that require organizations to register with the state before they solicit donations from individuals in that state. The goal is for the public to be able to trust that their donations are going to a legitimate nonprofit organization that will use the money for charitable purposes.

This article explains generally when an organization must register in a state, how to complete the registration process, and what an organization should do when soliciting over the internet. Because each state has its own registration requirements, nonprofit organizations should seek advice from competent attorneys to advise them on their particular situation.

Click here for another article about charitable registration in Georgia.

You’ve Been Served: What to Do When Your Nonprofit Receives Legal Papers

Posted on July 7, 2017

If you are a Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta client and you receive a demand letter, request for production, subpoena, summons, writ of garnishment, notice of government investigation or similar document, please do not hesitate to contact us. While we normally provide business legal services to nonprofits, we may be able to help if you are sued or under investigation. But we cannot help you if we don’t know about it, and the sooner we know about it, the better. We will be in a much better position to assist you if we get involved early in the process. Whatever you do, do not ignore legal papers. The problem will not go away and will probably get worse. Even if you think this won’t happen to you, please read this important article.
Click here to read the article.

How to Avoid Getting Sued by Former Employees

Posted on July 7, 2017

Even if they have done everything “right”, employers who terminate employees will sometimes get sued. So, if doing things by the book is not enough, what is? The answer is to avoid doing the things that might inspire a former employee to visit an attorney. In this article, an attorney who has been litigating employment claims for over 20 years shares four lessons she has learned.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta clients should contact us before terminating an employee for advice on how to avoid legal problems.

Click here to read the article.

Some Employers Are Now Required to Allow “Sick Leave” for Family Care Under Georgia Law

Posted on July 6, 2017

On May 9, 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the Family Care Act (SB 201) into law, adding a new requirement that some employers provide paid leave to allow employees to care for family members. The new regulation does not apply to organizations with less than 25 employees. The Family Care Act requires covered employers to allow employees with available, paid sick leave to use up to five days per calendar year of that sick leave to care for “immediate family members.” Immediate family members are defined as the employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or any person identified as a dependent on the employee’s most recent tax return. To be considered eligible for family sick leave under the new bill, employees must work at least 30 hours per week. Employers not currently offering paid sick leave are under no obligation to begin doing so under this law. If you have any questions about the Family Care Act, please contact your PBPA attorney.

Registering for Charitable Solicitation

Posted on March 15, 2017

In order to protect the public from fraud, most states have enacted laws that require organizations to register with the state before they solicit donations from individuals in that state. The goal is for the public to be able to trust that their donations are going to a legitimate nonprofit organization that will use the money for charitable purposes.

This article explains generally when an organization must register in a state, how to complete the registration process, and what an organization should do when soliciting over the internet. Because each state has its own registration requirements, nonprofit organizations should seek advice from competent attorneys to advise them on their particular situation.

New Filing Deadline for FBARs

Posted on March 14, 2017

U.S. nonprofits that have bank accounts in foreign countries must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) each year to report the existence of foreign financial accounts held outside the United States. Beginning this year, the filing deadline for the FBAR has been moved up to April 15 with a new automatic six-month extension option until October 15, 2017. This change aligns it with the filing deadline for individual income tax returns.

For more information about FBAR, see our article Reporting Requirement for Nonprofits with Foreign Bank Accounts.