CAPLAW eNews Bulletin - June 2015 No Images? Click here

Watch this webinar series focused on an in-depth review of how Community Action Agencies handle indirect costs. Through four one-hour webinars, we explored the practical impact of the Super Circular (“Uniform Guidance”) on the treatment of indirect costs. Learn more about the series.


Check out CAPLAW's latest Frequently Asked Questions series on topics such as finances, governance, grant law and weatherization. Explore the FAQ Archive.

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HHS Proposes Revised Head Start Program Performance Standards

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a comprehensive revision and reorganization of the Head Start Program Performance Standards governing all Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) containing the proposed Program Performance Standards was published in the Federal Register on June 19, 2015 and is accessible electronically here. Comments on the NPRM may be submitted electronically here between Friday, June 19, 2015 and midnight, Eastern Daylight Time, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.  CAPLAW is reviewing the proposed Performance Standards and will issue further analysis before submitting comments on the NPRM.  Contact Veronica Zhang if there are specific issues you think are important to include in CAPLAW’s comments.   Please note that the current Performance Standards will remain in effect until a final rule is issued and becomes effective.


Highlights of the Head Start Eligibility Determination Final Rule

Earlier this year, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released its final rule on Head Start eligibility determination procedures.  The rule clarifies the eligibility requirements for Head Start and Early Head Start program enrollment and provides instructions for program staff to determine, verify, certify and maintain eligibility records for children enrolled in Head Start programs.  The rule became effective as of March 12, 2015 and applies to all new eligibility determinations made on or after this date. Read more.


OCS Guidance on Using CSBG Funds as a Match for AmeriCorps

Earlier this year, the Office of Community Services (OCS), the federal agency administering the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), released guidance, OCS Information Memorandum (IM) 139, explaining that CSBG funds may, under certain circumstances, be used to meet matching requirements of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) AmeriCorps program. Read more.


Full Recognition for Same-Sex Spouses

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. __ (2015), that states are required to license marriages between two people of the same sex as well as to recognize lawfully-licensed, same-sex marriages performed in other states.  As a result of this decision, state laws impacting employee leave, benefits and taxes must be expanded to encompass same-sex spouses.  While the Obama administration has issued guidance clarifying the impact on federal law of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. __ (2013), Obergefell will hasten the full recognition of same-sex marriage under state laws... Earlier this year, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule, 29 C.F.R. § 825.102, which revised the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1933 (FMLA) to provide protection to same-sex spouses even if the state in which they reside does not recognize same-sex marriage. Read more.


Practical NLRB Guidance Regarding Personnel Policies

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to refine its guidance around Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which provides all workers, both non-unionized and unionized, with a protected right to engage in concerted (or group) activity for purposes of collective bargaining, mutual aid or protection. This right includes communications with one another about the terms and conditions of employment.  Turning its attention to personnel handbooks and policies, the NLRB released a 30-page report, Office of General Counsel (GC) Memorandum GC 15-04, in which it analyzes a wide range of policies contained in employee handbooks, including those related to... Read more.


The U.S. Supreme Court Sends a Cautionary Message About Dress Codes

It is important for employers to understand how personnel policies, like dress codes, could conflict with anti-discrimination laws. This month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing a case involving an employer who may have discriminated against an applicant wearing a head scarf to proceed in the lower courts. The employer refused to hire the applicant based on the employer’s blanket policy against headwear, even though the applicant never identified the head scarf as religious in nature. Given that many CAAs employ diverse staff in a variety of settings—from weatherization workers, to Head Start teachers, to upper level management—employee dress codes deserve close attention. To learn more about this new case and get tips on how to minimize the risk of religious discrimination in the workplace, see the Nonprofit Alert from the law firm Venable, LLP. 


When a Picture is Worth More than 1,000 Words . . . More Like $1,000, Yikes!

Have you ever come across a great image on the internet and reposted it on your agency’s website or online publication, thinking that so long as you attribute the image to its source, you’ve covered your bases under copyright law?  You might want to reconsider.  A number of Community Services Block Grant network organizations have received settlement demand letters from online image galleries, photographers and artists indicating that an image is being used without their permission. Read more.


This e-News Bulletin is part of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Legal Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Center. It was created by Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Cooperative Agreement – Grant Award Number 90ET0441-01. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed In this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.