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Home / Organizations / Capacity Building Toolkit / Legal Issues for Arts Administrators

Capacity Building Toolkit

Legal Issues for Arts Administrators

Risk Assessment Concerns for Nonprofit Boards and Staff during COVID-19

This workshop introduces principles and concerns regarding risk assessment for nonprofit organizations. Understanding that nonprofit organizations are stewarded by both boards of directors and staff members, the target audience for this workshop is both board members and staff members (executive directors, artistic directors, operations managers, program managers, etc.) who work closely to and advise those boards. While this workshop focuses on risk management issues arising due the COVID-19 pandemic—including potential closure and other exit strategies—the principles discussed during the program can apply to a variety of external challenges.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand basic insurance basics, including common vocabulary, a foundational understanding of Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance and its costs, and what general commercial liability insurance (GCL) policies do and do not cover with respect to COVID-19.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: James Grace, Esq., Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, Inc; Christopher Hawthorne, Cleary Insurance; Melissa Sampson McMorrow, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.

Session Resources:

 

Employment Law Basics

The workshop reviews essential principles of employment law, chiefly, (1) defining the employer’s obligations to employees with respect to hiring, termination, compensation, and benefits, (2) explaining the distinctions between an employee and an independent contractor, and (3) identifying common (but serious) employment pitfalls, including deferring compensation, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and failing to pay payroll taxes.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand the legal foundations of a traditional employer-employee relationship, fundamental employment law vocabulary, and how to spot and avoid potential employment-related legal issues.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: Lucas Blackadar, Esq., Director of Legal Services, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston; Danielle Jurema Lederman, Associate, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP.

Session Resources:

 

Nonprofit Unemployment Obligations

Unfortunately, while the pandemic has expanded remote work opportunities for workers, it has also forced many of them into unemployment. In this workshop, we will provide an overview of the Massachusetts unemployment system, from the initial claim to receipt of benefits.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand unemployment eligibility criteria and the unemployment process, the employer’s reporting obligation, and how to approach certain problems raised by remote work, such as work performed in multiple states.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: Lucas Blackadar, Esq., Director of Legal Services, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston; Jill Havens, Esq., Jill Havens Law.

Session Resources:

 

Nonprofit Suspension and Closure

This workshop is a survey of common methods of closing a nonprofit organization: suspension of operations, bankruptcy, and dissolution. Topics include an overview of the processes each of these methods entail, as well as a discussion of the issues raised by a closing nonprofit’s obligations to staff (compensation and benefits), local and federal governments (taxes and regulatory compliance), and vendors, contractors, partners, and collaborators (outstanding programmatic commitments). We also explain how human resources decisions play a role in each method.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand the overall processes for suspension, bankruptcy, and dissolution, create a checklist of key business closure considerations and questions for attendees to share with their leadership and business consultants, and understand liability considerations from the board of directors’ perspective.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: Lucas Blackadar, Esq., Director of Legal Services, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston; Judy Polacheck, Esq., Polacheck HR Law, LLC.

Session Resources:

 

Nonprofit Mergers and Absorptions

This workshop focuses on the challenges associated with nonprofit mergers and, more commonly, acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions each raise unique business and financial questions: What are the various types of mergers, and the relevant vocabulary? What is the process of a merger: Due diligence, Written agreement(“MOU”), Board votes. Bylaws, Secretary of State filings. In an acquisition, what will become of the acquired organization’s staff, and in what form will the programs and operations of the acquired organization continue? In a merger, who will govern the new organization? What are the boards’ roles? (Before and after).

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand a high-level overview of a nonprofit corporate merger and a high-level overview of a nonprofit corporate acquisition, including key vocabulary pertaining to both processes. Participants will also learn key business questions to help evaluate the viability of a corporate merger or acquisition.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: James Grace, Esq., Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, Inc; David Miller, Proskauer.

Session Resources:

 

Legal Considerations of Having a Remote Workforce

With much of the Massachusetts workforce engaging in remote work, employers should take time to assess whether their systems are working for both their organizations and their staff. Working from home, while creating flexibility for employers and employees, does carry risks and consequences. This workshop shares best practices for implementing a successful work from home policy. Topics for discussion include working hours, employee privacy, data security, and risks and potential liabilities, including insurance consequences.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to understand the potential liability exposure created by a remote workforce, how employers can use insurance to mitigate the risks of a remote workforce, and how employees can safeguard sensitive information at home.

Consulting Firm: Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Boston, MA

Content Experts: Lucas Blackadar, Esq., Director of Legal Services, Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston; Danielle Jurema Lederman, Associate, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP.

Session Resources:

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