Tenenbaum Law Group Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is quoted extensively in this article in the Fall 2020 issue of the American Society of Association Executives’ Associations Now magazine on the current state of the association meetings industry, with a focus on legal considerations. In the wide-ranging article, Jeff discusses evolving changes in hotel contract force majeure clauses, speaker contracts in the virtual conference setting, standards of care and mitigating liability risks for hosting in-person meetings, requiring liability waivers for meeting attendees, and event cancellation insurance in the current market.
“That’s where regulations start clashing. You can try to prevent someone with COVID-19 from entering the workplace, but the steps available remain limited,” according to Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum of the Tenenbaum Law Group, a practice specializing in nonprofit law and based in Washington, D.C. “While obviously not completely analogous, the EEOC has advised that flu vaccinations may not be mandated for all employees,” said Tenenbaum. “Exceptions have to be made for requests for disability, medical or religious accommodation,” he said. “It is not lawful to require all employees to be vaccinated. And, it must be coupled with appropriate notice to employees. As such, the EEOC has advised that employers should consider encouraging, rather than requiring, employees to get the flu vaccine each year.” It might evolve into a Constitutional fight if the federal government attempts to mandate citizens get vaccinated, Tenenbaum said. Even in the heyday of polio, the federal government did not mandate taking the vaccine. An example, he said, is the potential liability if a firm offers flu vaccines on premise. Even though waivers would be signed, there still are issues, such as employees feeling pressured into being inoculated by management or their peers.
Tenenbaum Law Group is very proud to have been awarded – in its first year – the (top) Tier 1 designation in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for Nonprofit/Charities Law for 2021 by Best Law Firms/U.S. News & World Report. The firm is one of only six law firms in the region to have been granted this distinguished 2021 honor.
Generally speaking, no, according to attorney Jeffrey Tenenbaum of the Tenenbaum Law Group. Waivers “cannot hurt the association from a legal risk management perspective,” and requiring a waiver will likely help the organization, Tenenbaum wrote in a recent article. However, “waivers are regularly challenged and nullified by courts for a variety of reasons,” so it is not a good idea to rely on them as a “complete liability shield.”
"While it is unclear how the IRS may apply its 16-year-old guidance to the modern-day virtual trade show and whether its guidance today might be different, taken literally, it would seem a virtual trade show of any kind would not qualify for the existing trade show safe-harbor exception from UBIT,” said association attorney Jeff Tenenbaum, managing partner of Tenenbaum Law Group. “That being said, that does not automatically mean that virtual trade show income would be taxable as UBI; it would simply be ineligible for the safe harbor and subject to the standard three-prong UBIT analysis. Moreover, while the UBI exception for corporate sponsorship income does not apply to ‘qualified conventions and trade shows,’ if virtual conferences are deemed to not fall within that definition, then it may well be possible to restructure some of these business relationships as corporate sponsorships. In short, this is clear as mud."
Unprecedented Leadership During Unprecedented Times is the focus of the 2020 Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE, which takes place at PlanetIMEX on Thursday 15 October. The programme has been developed to provide high level insights into the strategies association executives can employ to navigate a business environment that continues to change and challenge.
As associations pivot to virtual trade shows, meeting executives must understand how unrelated business income tax regulations now apply to exhibit revenues—and how to adapt sponsorship opportunities to minimize taxation.
Tenenbaum Law Group’s Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is quoted extensively in this article in CEO Update about the uptick in association merger activity during the pandemic.
Tenenbaum Law Group Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum’s article, Top 10 Legal Q&A for Association Events in the COVID-19 Era: Strategies for an Evolving Landscape, published in AMC Institute’s Money Matters newsletter
AMC Institute’s Money Matters
Attorney Jeff Tenenbaum, with Tenenbaum Law Group, who represents both boards and executives in employment matters, said he has not seen contract renegotiations yet, but
expects to. “What I could see, if I was representing the executive, is kind of a deferral, where the executive agrees to take a cut in compensation this year. But assuming the association, by whatever metric
they agree to, is back on track a year from now, the executive would have the opportunity to earn that back.” CEOs working without a contract are subject to pay reductions for any non-illegal
reasons, Tenenbaum said.