CAPLAW eNews Bulletin - August 2016

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In This Edition


•  Election-Year Refresher    DOL Fiduciary Rule Impact on Retirement Plans  
Guidance on Leave as an Accommodation  •  Assessing Organizational Impact  
Understanding Nonprofit Dashboards


Refresh Your Understanding of Election-Year Rules

With election season in full swing, CAAs may be wondering how to comply with rules relating to election and campaign activity. A variety of federal rules—and potentially state and local rules as well—affect the ways in which CAAs and their employees may participate in election-year activities like voter education and registration, transportation to the polls, and running for political office. CAPLAW has updated several key resources that help explain these issues. For a review of some of the most significant rules relating to election and campaign activity, see our Election Year Refresher for Nonprofit CAAs and the Election Year Refresher for Public CAAs. For specific guidance on voter registration activities, see CAPLAW’s Do’s and Don’ts of Voter Registration


DOL’s Fiduciary Rule May Impact CAA Retirement Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a new regulation, known as “the Fiduciary Rule,” that aims to protect retirement plan investors by requiring all who provide retirement investment advice to plan sponsors and participants to abide by a "fiduciary" standard—putting their clients' best interest before their own profits. For CAAs that sponsor retirement plans and certain other employee benefit plans, the new Fiduciary Rule means that the CAA’s relationships with their financial advisors will be changing. The new Rule will be phased in from April 10, 2017 to January 1, 2018, but CAAs may start seeing changes from their financial advisors much sooner. For more information about the Fiduciary Rule and how it applies to retirement plan sponsors, see this legal alert from Groom Law Group and this article from Society for Human Resource Management. To read more about how a CAA may provide investment information and education to CAA staff—without becoming investment advice fiduciaries under the new regulation—read this Q&A from the law firm Proskauer


Complying with the New Overtime Rule under the FLSA FAQ and Webinar

These new resources answer some common questions about the new overtime rule under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its implications for Community Action Agencies (CAAs). Topics addressed include application of the new overtime rule, general FLSA principles, white-collar exemptions, Head Start teachers, and coverage under the FLSA.

Download FAQ

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Applying the ACA to Short-Term Employees FAQ

This FAQ addresses the applicability of the ACA to employees who are not traditional year-round employees. Specifically, we address the applicability of the ACA to participants in job training programs, but the analysis could also apply to other types of limited-time employees, such as LIHEAP intake workers hired on a temporary basis. 


EEOC Issues Guidance on Leave as an Accommodation under the ADA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published a guidance document that summarizes and explains the rights of employees with disabilities who seek leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the guidance creates no new policies, it is intended to educate employers and employees about workplace leave under the ADA to prevent discriminatory denials of leave from occurring. The guidance addresses a number of topics (including the interactive process to determine the feasibility of providing leave as a reasonable accommodation, maximum leave policies, "100 percent healed" policies, and job reassignment) and provides examples that illustrate existing legal requirements and obligations for both employees and employers. The guidance also addresses issues around whether providing an accommodation would create an undue hardship on the employer, including the amount and/or length of leave required, the frequency of leave, the predictability of intermittent leave, and the impact on the employer's operations and its ability to serve clients in a timely manner. The guidance can be found on the EEOC’s website. For a discussion of the key points and takeaways for employers, see this article from the Society for Human Resource Management.


Ways to Assess Organizational Impact 

The Community Services Block Grant Organizational Standards are replete with references to impact—from the overall goal of implementing high-impact programs and services to the nuts and bolts of producing data to reflect the impact of the Community Action network. Such assessments inform the ways in which an organization allocates and aligns its resources to best further its mission and increase its sustainability. Steve Zimmerman, author of the 2010 book Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Decisions for Financial Viability and that book’s recently published field guide, offers a number of suggestions for ways to think about, measure, and analyze mission impact—including ways to evaluate relative impact across programs—in the article, Untangling Elements of Impact, available on the Spectrum Nonprofit Services website.


CAA Leader's 
Legal Guide

The legal framework that governs both public and nonprofit Community Action Agencies (CAAs) as recipients of federal grant funds is vast. This Guide attempts to give leaders of CAAs – the board and the executive management – an overview of some of the legal requirements that they will work with on a regular basis. The guide covers topics such as the federal grant life cycle; the legal authority underlying federal grants; the federal Community Service Block Grant Act; federal financial management requirements; and tax rules specific to nonprofit CAAs operating as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.


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Red Light, Green Light: Understanding Nonprofit Dashboards

Nonprofit dashboards are a great way to use simple graphics to summarize complex materials. Financial dashboards, for example, can transform potentially confusing financial reports into simple and understandable illustrations. To get started with dashboards—or to refine your use of them—we recommend reading the articles below. The Forbes, Blue Avocado, and Bridgespan articles provide examples of dashboard


formats that can be used with a variety of different data. The CompassPoint library contains sample dashboard indicators that may be helpful as you brainstorm performance metrics for various programs and activities. The last article, from Microsoft Office, discusses how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel to create performance dashboards.


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 90ET0441-02. Any opinion, findings, 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.