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Not For Profit/Exempt Organizations Blog

Recaps from Proskauer’s 17th Annual Trick or Treat Tax Exempt Seminar

Posted in Governance

Proskauer’s 17th Annual Trick or Treat Seminar discussed:

  • Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act
  • Cybersecurity Threats and Identity Theft
  • Lawyers as Nonprofit Directors

Here are some take-away points from each presentation:

 Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

 Peter J. Marathas, Jr. reviewed some of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“Act”), reminding those attending that many of the Act’s requirements are already in effect, and many more are set to go into effect in 2013 and 2014.  Mr. Marathas specifically addressed the “counting rules” under the Act, which will be used to determine whether an employer employs 50 or more full time equivalent employees and is therefore subject to the 2014 “play or pay penalties,” and the number of full-time employees employed by an employer for purposes of determining the extent to which a penalty may apply.  Mr. Marathas also discussed issues related to so-called “variable hour employees,” those who work on an as-needed or similar basis, and how they are counted for purposes of the Act.  He reminded employers that implementation of the Act continues in full force, with the federal agencies releasing important guidance.  Working closely with knowledgeable counsel and other advisors is therefore essential.  For additional information on the Affordable Care Act click here.

 Cybersecurity Threats and Identity Theft

Kristen Mathews discussed cybersecurity threats and online identity theft. Ms. Mathews emphasized that cybersecurity risks for not-for-profit organizations are similar to those to profit-making enterprises, as they collect and maintain personal, health and financial information of employees, donors and customers.  Not-for-profit entities also have the same or similar legal obligations with respect to those types of information.  Common data security threats were highlighted, including politically motivated hacking, data theft for profit, and employee negligence.  As a case in point, Ms. Mathews recounted a recent incident in which a journalist’s online accounts, computer and mobile device were accessed and controlled and his personal data destroyed by hackers who used social engineering techniques to exploit flaws in the account security procedures of major online service providers.  She followed up with recommendations for improved online account security practices for individuals as well as service providers.  For identity theft prevention tips click here.

Lawyers as Nonprofit Directors

Lesley Rosenthal, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, discussed the role of lawyers serving on nonprofit boards.  Scott Harshbarger facilitated the discussion.  Ms. Rosenthal pointed out that both the lawyers and nonprofit organizations can benefit from a lawyer serving on the board.  Ms. Rosenthal also addressed certain pitfalls which can result from the dual roles of lawyer and board member and how to avoid them.  A forthcoming blog post will discuss Ms. Rosenthal’s presentation in further detail.