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EEOC and Illinois Updates: COVID-Related Religious Exemptions

In COVID time, the world continues to spin at a lightning-fast pace. Workers across the country are increasingly facing employers’ demands to get a COVID shot or to lose their jobs. A host of issues accompanies such requirement - public policy, legal, moral, religious, health, and political – and such issues can be highly divisive. On the religious aspects, two important developments occurred this week. First, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance addressing key aspects of religious exemptions. Second, with respect to Illinois workplaces, the Illinois state legislature moved swiftly to sharply curtail religious right of conscience protections – with the Governor’s expected approval to follow.

NONPROFIT LAW NEWSFEED

A tax break for charitable donations is slated to end soon — here’s how to use it before it disappears

MarketWatch As tornado victims in the south and Midwest dig out from the wreckage of the violent weekend storm, tax authorities and experts on nonprofits highlighted a valuable charitable deduction for small-dollar donors that’s slated to expire in a matter of weeks.

A congressman is probing coaches’ salaries. The results may be simple — and unpopular

The Washington Post Inspired by the latest round of massive contracts given to college football coaches, a congressman is looking into potential "abuses of the tax code by schools enjoying tax-exempt status."

‘Washougal Moms’ must register as political action committee

Camas-Washougal Post-Record  State commission says group that has opposed school board incumbents must disclose financial backers

Guidance issued for LLCs seeking tax-exemption recognition

Journal of Accountancy  The IRS on Thursday issued Notice 2021-56 to clarify the standards that a limited liability company (LLC) must satisfy to receive a determination letter recognizing it as tax-exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3). Generally, all the members of an LLC seeking tax-exempt status will have to be tax-exempt organizations themselves or governmental units. The LLC will also have to include specified language in its articles of organization and operating agreement.

19 states sue Biden administration over COVID vaccine rule

AP News  Eighteen states filed three separate lawsuits Friday to stop President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing that the requirement violates federal law.

Kamala Harris' Campaign Ad Jeopardizes Churches' Nonprofit Status, Say Experts

Newsweek Democratic Former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder said Vice President Kamala Harris' video endorsement supporting Terry McAuliffe for governor could jeopardize the 501(3)(C) status of those Virginia churches showing it—and some legal experts agree. The taped campaign ad, which has been playing on Sundays in Black churches across the state, has Harris calling upon congregants to "raise your voice through your vote."

How Nonprofit Hospitals Can Support Communities and Advance Public Health

Center for American Progress  Hospitals, critical providers of essential care throughout the pandemic, can serve an influential role in bolstering health equity and population health; and health systems around the nation are increasingly recognizing this responsibility. Nonprofit hospitals have a unique obligation to advance community health. Their tax-free status—saving nonprofit hospitals an average of $11.3 million annually, per hospital—hinges on a need to provide benefit to the community.

After negotiating to revise new Missouri law, Christian boarding school sues to block it

Missouri Independent Heartland Christian Academy has defied government intervention through the courts before. A Christian boarding school from northeast Missouri with a history of defying government intervention filed a federal lawsuit last week seeking to block oversight requirements in a new state law — even after negotiating with legislators to revise the law’s provisions.

Nonprofits Say They’ve Felt a Legal Squeeze from the De Blasio Administration

City Limits  Parks groups and BIDs believe the city has tried to offload legal liability onto small organizations that are built to rally volunteers and sweep plazas, not battle lawsuits.  

NYC Must Give Teachers With Medical And Religion Exemptions Non-Classroom Work, Arbitrator Finds

Gothamist  An arbitrator has ruled that New York City must offer teachers with certain medical and religious exemptions non-classroom assignments, after the teachers' union argued that the city's requirement that all school employees—teachers, administrators, and other staff—must be vaccinated by September 27th was "draconian."

A tax break for charitable donations is slated to end soon — here’s how to use it before it disappears

MarketWatch As tornado victims in the south and Midwest dig out from the wreckage of the violent weekend storm, tax authorities and experts on nonprofits highlighted a valuable charitable deduction for small-dollar donors that’s slated to expire in a matter of weeks.

A congressman is probing coaches’ salaries. The results may be simple — and unpopular

The Washington Post Inspired by the latest round of massive contracts given to college football coaches, a congressman is looking into potential "abuses of the tax code by schools enjoying tax-exempt status."