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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Food Donation Liability Protection

Posted on August 29, 2018

Everyday food may be wasted if potential donors fear liability. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act protects donors and recipient agencies from liability when distributing donated foods. View this webcast to learn how you and your organization are protected by federal and state laws.

Specifically, the webcast will cover:

– Can your organization be sued if food you donated caused someone to get ill?
– How does the law apply to prepared foods (like applesauce, cooked veggies, etc.)?
– What type of food donations are protected under the law?
– Are there certain conditions for food packaging, content, and expiration date?

(more…)

Is Your Employee or Volunteer a Foreign National?

Posted on August 15, 2018

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, or national origin

    . Employers are also prohibited from discriminating because of citizenship status against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens with work authorization: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is, individuals who have gone through the legalization program), refugees, and asylees. However, foreign nationals and their potential employers should be aware that there are U.S. immigration regulations associated with both employment and volunteer opportunities. The unlawful employment of foreign nationals by U.S. employers is a violation of federal law and can subject employers to both civil and criminal penalties.

Risks and Rewards of Crowdfunding for Nonprofits

Posted on July 27, 2018

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular tool in a nonprofit’s fundraising arsenal, and with good reason. Crowdfunding is essentially a means of asking for online donations to support specific projects and fundraising events. Organizations can pay crowdfunding platforms such as Crowdrise, PayPal Giving Fund, and Kiva, which are fundraising websites specifically geared towards nonprofits, to showcase particular projects and to collect donations on their behalf. Doing so can enable even a small nonprofit to gain national exposure and significantly enhance its funding potential.

With the benefits and popularity surrounding crowdfunding, it is easy to overlook the potential associated legal risks. For every nonprofit currently engaged in or considering engaging in crowdfunding, here are a few of the many factors to consider.

Beware of Trademark Scams

Posted on July 19, 2018

Applying for a trademark is a crucial step in solidifying and protecting your organization’s hard work and reputation. However, when applying for a trademark, your address, email address, and other details of your registration are added to the public domain. This gives unethical companies the opportunity to flood your mailbox and your email with deceiving notices in an attempt to get you to pay for private trademark renewal services you do not need. Please be aware that you are not required to pay for services through these private companies to renew a trademark registration.

The Family and Medical Leave Act and Nonprofits

Posted on July 3, 2018

Nonprofits may be subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This article is intended to provide a general overview of the FMLA. Topics covered in this article are:

    1. What is the FMLA?;
    2. Who qualifies as a “covered” employer and an eligible employee;
    3. Obligations of under the FMLA;
    4. Qualifying reasons for FMLA leave; and 5. What employers are prohibited from doing under the FMLA.

Safety in the Nonprofit Workplace

Posted on May 16, 2018

Nonprofits may be subject to the laws and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) related to safety in the workplace. This article provides an overview of OSHA, the federal agency that regulates workplace safety, injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements, OSHA inspections and penalties, OSHA requirements that are generally applicable to nonprofits, tips on establishing an effective safety program, and requirements for temporary employees.

Building Generational Wealth: Understanding Clear Title and Estate Planning

Posted on May 14, 2018

Most nonprofit and governmental programs targeted at homeowners require that owner-occupiers have clear title to their home, which is especially difficult for those who live in homes inherited from family members. This webcast will provide an overview of the following:

    – What clear title and heirs property means;
    – Potential resolution strategies for heirs property owners;
    – Resources for owners dealing with heirs property and other title issues; and
    – The importance of requiring estate planning as part of nonprofit housing programs.

This webcast is recommended for housing nonprofits and nonprofits with a large homeowner client base.

Presenters:
Georgia Heirs Property Law Center’s Executive Director Skipper G. StipeMaas, and Legal Programs Director Joann E. Johnston

Please click on this link to view the webcast.

The Building Generational Wealth webcast series is offered by the Generational Poverty Law Project, a partnership between Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Georgia Heirs Property Law Center and funded by The Junior League of Atlanta.

Do You Provide Parking & Marta Passes to Your Employees? – You May Owe Taxes!

Posted on May 2, 2018

Does your nonprofit organization do any of the following?

    1. Pay for MARTA passes or nearby parking for employees,

    2. Purchase MARTA passes or parking at a nearby lot and then passes those costs on to employees through a pre-tax deduction to the employee’s pay, or

    3. Have parking lot spaces included in its lease and provides the parking free to its employees.

Then your nonprofit may owe taxes to the IRS under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Read this important article for more information.

Have You Done Your Paycheck Checkup Yet?

Posted on April 27, 2018

The IRS is launching a sweeping effort to advise taxpayers about the importance of doing a “paycheck checkup” as soon as possible to ensure that they are withholding properly from their paychecks. It is highly recommended that employers, including nonprofit corporations, share this information with their employees as soon as possible. Please see this link for an article providing additional information you should share with your employees so they can determine if they are withholding correctly from their paychecks.

Licensing Requirements for Summer and Other Childcare Programs

Posted on April 25, 2018

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) requires that “all programs providing group care for children” obtain either a license or an exemption from licensing. You cannot simply assume that your program is exempt.

If you operate a child care program in Georgia, you must either obtain a license or an official determination that the program is exempt from licensing rules. Ignoring these requirements can lead to fines or even prosecution for operating an unlicensed facility. This article provides information about Georgia licensing requirements, and how to obtain an exemption if your program is eligible to receive one.