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AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 677
Experience:  15 years law practice experience
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I am part of a small nonprofit organization in Fort Worth,

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I am part of a small nonprofit organization in Fort Worth, Texas. We have primarily a volunteer board of directors but paid staff who are actually contracted (not by any papers) to work for our organization to provide a service. Should we have legally binding written contracts with these employees?
JA: Can you tell me where the nonprofit is registered?
Customer: Fort Worth, Texas.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: We have our 501c3 status already in place since 2005. There are no reports or filed complaints if that is what you are asking.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We have therapists who provide our service (which is what our organization is about). We want to know if there should be signed legal contracts in place. Thanks so much.

Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
What else do you need or want from me at this time?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I cannot talk with you as I see the fees continue to rise, and the cost of the service was not presented up front when I asked the question.

Many employers, non profit or not, have employees that have no contract governing the employment. There's nothing illegal about this, but it is probably not the best way to go. If you have laid out expectations for the employee, or if you have certain behaviors that are not acceptable, putting those into a written contract can help you down the road if you need to terminate the employee for cause, and not want to be left in a bind paying unemployment. Of course, you'd want to give written warnings that the employee signs if there is an incident that leads to you having to terminate the employee. I've seen quite a few cases of the employee stating that the termination was not because they'd done anything wrong, and despite the employer disputing this, the boards often times side in favor of the employee. If you have a manual that states what your expectations are, and a procedure for writing up the employee, it will get you very far if you do terminate for cause. Does this make sense?

Sorry, the system automatically offers the phone call if it sees that the dialogue goes back and forth between us more than a couple times. . . No worries.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I understand.What if I have an employee who is conducting non profit work out of her for profit business. She nor other therapists do not have a written contract, but she in particular is doing work for our nonprofit organization out of her own business office location.I am fearful she may be without realizing it, be collecting donations on our nonprofits' behalf as part of her service to our nonprofit.Am I making sense?Thanks

Yes, that makes alot of sense. If you are not okay with her seeing the non-profit patients at her clinic, then you should clarify this and other expectations in writing. You probably do need to start working on writing a policy manual for your organization, and make sure it is signed when you bring on new employees, and any time there are any major changes.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks so much for your feedback and information. We are looking for free to low cost legal council for our board since none of us are fully aware nor comfortable with the legal ramifications of managing a nonprofit organization.I appreciate your help.Lisa

Great. I wish you the best of luck. Would you please provide a positive rating for my help?

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