Special Alert

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Posted on September 25, 2019

On September 24, 2019, the United States Department of Labor issued a final rule raising the minimum salary required for the “white collar” overtime exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) from $455 per week ($23,600 per year) to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). The DOL further raised the salary threshold for the “highly compensated” exemption from $100,000 to $107,432. The new rule takes effect on January 1, 2020.

Under this new rule, many employees who are currently classified as salaried exempt will no longer pass the salary test. This change will affect millions of employees who earn more than $23,600 but less than $35,568 per year. The new regulations will significantly impact the nonprofit world, where salaries in the $25,000-$35,000 range are common. Nonprofits should start planning now to meet the upcoming budgetary challenges

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.

Posted on August 24, 2017

In the winter of 2016-2017, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless had one big problem. It was dangerously close to losing its building and, with it, its entire metro Atlanta operation.

Civil rights activist Reverend Hosea L. Williams Sr. founded Hosea Feed the Hungry in 1971 with the goal of serving Atlanta’s homeless population. After his death in 2004, his daughter Elizabeth Omilami took over the organization as CEO. In addition to providing food and other necessities to impoverished families, Hosea puts on holiday dinners, offers haircuts, helps individuals navigate overdue rent and utility payments, and invests in urban agriculture programs. The group has served over half a million individuals, and has expanded its outreach to include other vulnerable populations, including elderly individuals and isolated rural communities.

PBPA Tax Counsel, Robyn Miller with Mr. & Mrs. Omilami

For almost 20 years Hosea has directly served the community from the same location on Donnelly Avenue. In June of 2012, Hosea first met with Robyn Miller, Corporate/Tax Counsel for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBPA) to discuss potentially purchasing its building. Adam Balthrop, a real estate attorney at Arnall Golden Gregory, offered pro bono assistance on the deal through PBPA. After some initial due diligence, the building purchase was put on hold. Then, in August of 2015, the building purchase was on again. Soon after, PBPA assembled an entire team of pro bono lawyers, contractors, and professionals set about making this purchase a reality. The team included Balthrop, Joe Scibilia and Robert Shaw from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and Jeff Margolin and Robert Patchett from Ramboll Environ. However, as the deal and due diligence progressed it became clear that this opportunity did not meet Hosea’s long term needs and the organization decided to begin a search for a new location.

In the winter of 2016-2017, Ruby Howard, CFO of Hosea, contacted Robyn to discuss a startling development. The Donnelly Avenue building had been bought out, and Hosea had three months to move out or face paying an exorbitant $8,000 a month in rent. Without a building to operate in, Hosea could not provide services and, since its current source of funding required the organization to be actively providing services to receive funds, Hosea would lose all of its funding. As a result, Hosea either needed to find a new place, or potentially close its doors for good.

Hosea Feeds the Hungry & the Homeless’ new home

With renewed focus, most of the PBPA pro bono team from the previous purchase agreement reassembled to tackle the problem once more. Additional assistance came from Jones Day real estate attorneys An Tran and Michael Lee, and real estate broker James Pitts from Kellogg Partners. The team negotiated with the Donnelly building’s landlord for a few extra months at the current rent while Hosea looked for a suitable new spot. After a bit of searching, the group successfully located and negotiated a contract to purchase a building on Forrest Hills Drive which would provide Hosea with plenty of space and easy access to its client community. In addition, the team convinced Citizens Trust Bank to commit to favorable loan terms and to work expeditiously to get the due diligence accomplished. Ramboll Environ agreed to provide environmental due diligence and brought in Herman Kitt of SBC Construction Services to complete the asbestos analysis, with both companies only charging for out-of-pocket expenses. However, the organization quickly needed more funding in order to be able to close the deal. In a tremendous show of faith and heart, Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed met this need by pledging $200,000 from the City of Atlanta to help Hosea close on the new property, and carrying forward a previously committed grant of an additional $180,000 to help Hosea renovate its new building in the fall. This legal matter required over 258 hours of volunteer service, valued at $90,000 in legal fees.

Through the tremendous effort and teamwork of all parties involved, including Michael Lee and An Tran at Jones Day and Joe Scibilia and Robert Shaw at Kilpatrick Townsend, who provided their services for free through Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Hosea Feed the Hungry, and the countless individuals it serves, will have a place to call home for years to come.

Posted on July 6, 2015
Posted on February 10, 2014

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta now has an iPhone app for attorneys to access our current list of Volunteer Opportunities! It’s an easy way to see the most up-to-date list of projects at any time. You can check it out here. You can also download it for free from iTunes. Just search for “PBPA” in the App Store.

Posted on June 4, 2013

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 allows employers, including nonprofits, to claim a tax credit when they hire a qualified veteran. This tax credit was recently extended until December 31, 2013. This legal alert answers questions nonprofit employers may have about how the tax credit works and how to apply for it.

Please note that in addition to the legal disclaimer above, this article contains information that is based, in whole or in part, on the laws of the District of Columbia. As a result, the information may not be appropriate for organizations operating outside the District of Columbia.