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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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.

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.

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.

Update – Gun Laws in Georgia: Can a Nonprofit Restrict Guns On Its Property?

Posted on April 9, 2018

Prior to 2014, many nonprofits in Georgia, particularly those that work with vulnerable populations including children, the elderly, and victims of violence, did not permit weapons on their premises. In 2014, the Safe Carry Protection Act was adopted in Georgia, and significantly limited the ability to restrict gun carrying by licensed gun owners. This law affected nonprofits that had such restrictions, and particularly those that were located in government buildings or leased property from a municipality, county or the State of Georgia. This article, which describes the rules regarding restrictions on gun carrying as set forth in the Safe Carry Protection Act, has been updated to address a 2018 decision in favor of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which may allow gun restrictions to be put in place by nonprofits leasing government property if they meet certain criteria.

Click here to read the article.

Protecting Confidential Information – Five Steps to Consider

Posted on February 28, 2018

Nonprofits, like all organizations, collect and create information that is valuable to the organization and important to maintain in confidence. Examples include client information (including personal and medical information), donor information, personal information (about board members, volunteers, or employees), as well as other business and financial information that needs to be protected. This article outlines five steps organizations should consider in protecting their confidential information.

Employees, Independent Contractors and Interns: Correctly Classifying Your Workers

Posted on February 1, 2018

Just like any workplace, a nonprofit organization has workers who aid the nonprofit in the pursuit of its goals. These workers are the nonprofit’s most valuable asset, and their performance will often determine the organization’s overall success.

The attached articles address recent legal developments and answer three important questions for the nonprofit employer:

– Is a nonprofit’s worker an employee or an independent contractor?
– Are the nonprofit’s employees classified correctly as exempt or nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
– Can the organization have unpaid interns?

Click here to read the articles: Guidance for Nonprofits Seeking to Use Unpaid Interns and Proper Worker Classification in the Workplace: Avoiding Misclassification Issues.

Proper Worker Classification in the Nonprofit Workplace: Avoiding Misclassification Issues

Posted on January 24, 2018

Just like any workplace, a nonprofit organization has workers who aid the nonprofit in the pursuit of its goals. These workers are the nonprofit’s most valuable asset, and their performance will often determine the organization’s overall success. However, is a nonprofit’s worker an employee or an independent contractor? Is there a difference? Does it matter?

A nonprofit will often treat paid workers as contractors – it is easier and there are less administrative and tax burdens. However, most paid workers are actually employees, and must be paid as such in order to avoid significant legal liability for the organization. This includes payment of overtime and minimum wage.

This article discusses how to determine whether to pay a worker as an employee or an independent contractor, and what the differences are under Georgia and federal law. First, we will review how employee and independent contractor classifications are interpreted by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL). Then, we will examine the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to help determine whether an employee is exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Included within this article are links which lead to USDOL guidelines.