Employment

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CARES Act: Financial Relief for Nonprofit Operations and Employment

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became effective on March 27, 2020. The Act allows for the injection of approximately $2.2 trillion into the economy to provide businesses and nonprofits with forgivable loans to avoid employee layoffs, to support the healthcare industry, to shore up other critical, adversely affected industries, and to create numerous other incentives for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. Such unprecedented financial relief seeks to help our entire country weather the current financial, economic, and public health maelstrom.

This article focuses on provisions in the Act that will affect nonprofit organizations’ financial operations, their employer-related financial responsibilities, and financial assistance for employees and other individuals. The Act contains numerous additional provisions not covered in this article, many of which may affect specific individuals or businesses.

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Update on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), requiring employers to provide certain sick pay and family medical leave benefits to eligible employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The FFCRA requires the federal government to cover the cost of the required benefits on an almost real-time basis via refundable payroll tax credits. While there are still some areas of the new law that lack clarity, we have summarized the currently available guidance regarding required payments and the related payroll tax credits below, along with Q&A and Examples to help your organization digest the technical provisions therein.

Expanded Paid Leave and Unemployment Benefits for American Workers Impacted by COVID-19

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On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law. The legislation delivers widespread changes for all employers with less than 500 employees and government employers. Effective Thursday, April 2, and continuing until December 31, 2020, such employers must now provide their employees with certain relief related to the exigencies caused by COVID-19. Relief measures include the following:

Remote Financial Operations and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Amidst the coronavirus pandemic’s continually developing implications for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses, now is the time to ensure that employees can perform key financial operations functions working remotely… e.g., from their homes. It is also the time for nonprofit organizational leaders to ensure that their online giving operations are fully functional and working well.

Illinois Mandatory Event Closures and Other Safety Directions, Due to Coronavirus Concerns

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llinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently issued a state-wide mandate to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This short article addresses the mandate’s immediate ramifications for religious organizations, social service providers, and employers.

Best Practices Amidst Coronavirus Concerns

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Nonprofit directors and officers owe the nonprofits they serve a fiduciary duty of due diligence. In the context of COVID-19, this means board members should be as mindful of COVID-19-related matters as they would be for any safety-related issue. The ordinary legal standard for whether board members have satisfied their legal duty is generally known as “business judgment rule:” What would an objectively reasonable person do in a similar situation? As nonprofits grapple with still-emerging challenges, here are key practices and initial recommendations based on the current situation, all of which are important for fulfilling due diligence responsibilities.

Nonprofit Executive Staffing: 10 Best Practices

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Your nonprofit has just identified a capable and promising executive candidate, perhaps for executive director, chief financial officer, or another high-level position within the organization. And the candidate has accepted! What should be negotiated and worked out for that person’s employment? How can the board promote a positive working relationship with clarity and optimal opportunity for success? The following key areas warrant attentiveness at the beginning of this critical engagement, to promote a healthy, effective, and legally compliant employment relationship.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Bringing Back Flexibility

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Thanks to a new federal rule, employers may more flexibly either (a) provide pre-tax reimbursements for their employees’ individual health insurance premiums and other expenses, or (b) pay such expenses directly on employees’ behalf.  Effective January 1, 2020, such pre-tax availability has been reinstated, following the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s elimination and only a limited version under the 2016 21st Century Cures Act, but with some new twists. As a result, employers and their employees now enjoy more pre-tax options for health benefits, albeit with increasing complexity and varied conditions.

Good News for Nonprofits Affected by the Nonprofit Parking Tax

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As part of a large spending package to avoid a government shutdown, Congress passed legislation repealing the infamous “Nonprofit Parking Tax” – an income tax on the cost of parking provided by nonprofit organizations to their employees performing exempt charitable, religious, and educational activities. The repeal of the Nonprofit Parking Tax is retroactive – the legislation literally states that the effective date of repeal is as if the tax was never in the original law. The bill was signed by President Trump on December 20, 2019.

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