Non-Profits Law 101: Governance, board functions, compliance, and employment issues within charities (2024 Edition)

Christopher J. Stevens
Vincent E. Polsinelli
Michael J. Lingle
Anita L. Pelletier
Christopher J. Stevens | Nixon Peabody
Vincent E. Polsinelli | Nixon Peabody
Michael J. Lingle | Nixon Peabody
Anita L. Pelletier | Nixon Peabody
On-Demand: October 31, 2023

$245.00 3 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I - Navigating Labor and Employment Law in Non-Profits – Christopher J. Stevens, Vincent E. Polsinelli, and Michael J. Lingle

Attorneys from Nixon Peabody will provide an overview of key points for employers to keep in mind when navigating the employment relationship with their workforces, with a focus on hot topics and recent development in the employment law space.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Wage-hour compliance
  • Independent contractors
  • Anti-harassment training and policy requirements
  • Employee handbooks

Session II - Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations – Anita L. Pelletier

With increasing scrutiny and compliance activities by the IRS as well as state charity regulators, it is more important than ever that charities operate in a compliant as well as transparent manner. This program provides what the regulators as well as industry organizations are expecting and even demanding from charities today. Program will include information regarding the legal standards as well as best practices to position your organization for success.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Nonprofit good governance standards
  • What is Code Section 4958, why it is important and what to be aware.
  • What the IRS and other “best practices”

Closed-captioning available


Christopher J. Stevens_myLawCLEChristopher J. Stevens | Nixon Peabody

Chris Stevens handles employment litigation and provides employment-related advice and counsel across a wide variety of industries.

I represent employers confronted with people, payroll, and other problems that arise in the context of the employment relationship. My practice focuses on litigation, though I also provide employment-related advice and counsel to clients across a wide spectrum of industries.


I represent employers in all phases of litigation. I regularly handle cases filed in both state and federal court. I also defend clients against employment-related claims before various administrative agencies including the EEOC, the NLRB, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the Department of Labor. I have experience litigating wage-hour class actions seeking unpaid overtime, collective actions brought under the FLSA, and single plaintiff lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

I view cases that clients entrust me to handle as problems to solve and pride myself on developing practical solutions to them in an efficient way.


I also provide strategic advice and counseling on a variety of employment-related legal issues including handbook/policy development, terminations, performance management, overtime eligibility, reasonable accommodations, and leave requests. My proactive advising includes providing trainings on various topics including harassment, wage-hour compliance, and more.

Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, I served as in-house employment counsel at Goldman Sachs. My in-house experience enables me to understand and appreciate how clients are looking at a problem and how outside counsel can add value during the collaborative process of working with a client to develop solutions that work for their unique business.


Vincent E. Polsinelli_myLawCLEVincent E. Polsinelli | Nixon Peabody

Vincent Polsinelli represents employers across the nation in employment-related litigation. Clients often seek his counsel in connection with complex litigation matters involving wage and hour disputes; discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, and retaliation claims; restrictive covenant enforcement; and other contractual disagreements.

I regularly assist companies in resolving employment-related claims in both federal and state courts, as well as before administrative agencies. The primary focus of my litigation practice involves representing clients in class and collective actions under the FLSA and state wage and hour laws. I have significant experience helping clients obtain positive results in both class-action and single-plaintiff matters through strategic litigation and alternative dispute resolution efforts.

In addition to my robust litigation practice, I provide preventive counseling and compliance advice to employers in all areas of employment law. I regularly advise clients in a broad range of industries on complex and highly regulated areas, such as wage and hour compliance, and work with clients to develop and maintain sound workplace policies and practices. Recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have helped clients develop vaccine-related policies and practices with a focus on protecting people in the workplace while at the same time ensuring compliance with applicable legal requirements.


Michael J. Lingle_myLawCLEMichael J. Lingle | Nixon Peabody

Michael Lingle is a seasoned litigator with 20 years of employment litigation experience. As a member of the Labor & Employment practice group, he handles a broad range of employment law cases, including wage-and-hour class and collective actions for clients.

I represent clients in all types and through all phases of employment litigation, including wage-and-hour class and collective actions, individual discrimination matters, retirement plan issues, employment contracts, and whistleblower actions. Having spent a number of years representing individuals, I bring a unique perspective to the table on factors that could motivate employees to bring a lawsuit. I strive to use that perspective to head off issues before they result in litigation.

Additionally, I counsel and litigate on a wide variety of other employment matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and breach-of-contract claims.


Anita-Pelletier_Nixon-Peabody_myLawCLEAnita L. Pelletier | Nixon Peabody


Anita Pelletier is Counsel in Nixon Peabody’s nonprofit practice group. She advises nonprofit organizations in matters relating to legal requirements and best practices in connection with governance and operational matters. She focuses her practice on assisting nonprofit clients to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.


With the increased level of scrutiny and transparency requirements from the IRS, state charity regulators, and the public, it is more important than ever that nonprofit organizations ensure their governance and operations are legally compliant. Anita has helped organizations, ranging from the very small to the very large, update bylaws and policies to comply with legal requirements and best practices.


Both the IRS and many state charity regulators are using analytics to identify areas of potential noncompliance to start audits and investigations of nonprofit organizations. Many of these are targeted to specific areas, and it is important to have a plan in place to identify what the regulator is looking for and the best way to respond. Anita has worked with many organizations to guide them through these audits and investigations. Most recently, she assisted a nonprofit to respond to an IRS inquiry questioning whether the organization’s activities were charitable and an organization to respond to noncompliance allegations by a state charity regulator in connection with the receipt of a charitable bequest.


The current climate for nonprofits is unprecedented. Efficient and effective operations are more important than ever. Many nonprofits are working to leverage current assets and seek strategic alliances to ensure continued operations to assist the most vulnerable in society. Anita has worked with many nonprofits to successfully sell assets and navigate mergers and dissolutions, including working through state charity-approval processes, which have become subject to increased scrutiny. Most recently, her work in this area included assisting nonprofit housing organizations to sell or refinance housing projects and advising on the merger and sale of assets by health care and nursing home nonprofit organizations.


Anita has assisted numerous charities to navigate the various rules regarding charitable solicitations in a market that necessitates the use of social media and electronic communications. She has also represented businesses using promotions to develop brand recognition and sales. Last year, Anita’s team helped a business development best practices for operating national sweepstakes and contests.


Session I – Navigating Labor and Employment Law in Non-Profits | 1:00pm – 2:40pm

  • General wage and hour obligations | 1:00pm – 1:10pm
  • Exemptions | 1:10pm – 1:20pm
    • Administrative
    • Professional
    • Executive
    • Others/State issues•
  • Classifying Interns/Volunteers? | 1:20pm – 1:30pm
  • Engaging Independent Contractors | 1:30pm – 1:40pm
  • Anti-Harassment and EEO Policies | 1:40pm – 1:50pm
  • Training | 1:50pm – 2:00pm

Break | 2:00pm – 2:10pm

  • Considerations for a Remote Workforce | 2:10pm – 2:20pm
  • Handbooks – Why have them | 2:20pm – 2:30pm
    • State Law Issueso
    • NLRB
  • Pre-Employment Checks | 2:30pm – 2:40pm
    • Background Checks
    • Credit Checks
    • Drug Testing

Session II – Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations | 2:40pm – 4:20pm

  • Governance | 2:40pm – 2:55pm
    • Role of the Board
    • Fiduciary Duties of Directors
    • Conflicts of Interest
  • Code Section 4958 Intermediate Sanctions | 2:55pm – 3:10pm

Break | 3:10pm – 3:20pm

  • Rebuttable Presumption of Reasonableness | 3:20pm – 3:50pm
    • Why compliance is important
    • Conflicts, compensation, and expense reimbursement
  • Basic functions of a Nonprofit Board | 3:50pm – 4:20pm
    • Governance vs. Management
    • IRS guidelines for good governance