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§2551.121 What legal limitations apply to the operation of the Senior Companion Program and to the expenditure of grant funds?
(a) Political activities. (1) No part of any grant shall be used to finance, directly or indirectly, any activity to influence the outcome of any election to public office, or any voter registration activity.
(2) No project shall be conducted in a manner involving the use of funds, the provision of services, or the employment or assignment of personnel in a matter supporting or resulting in the identification of such project with:
(i) Any partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a candidate, or contending faction or group, in an election; or
(ii) Any activity to provide voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or similar assistance in connection with any such election; or
(iii) Any voter registration activity, except that voter registration applications and nonpartisan voter registration information may be made available to the public at the premises of the sponsor. But in making registration applications and nonpartisan voter registration information available, employees of the sponsor shall not express preferences or seek to influence decisions concerning any candidate, political party, election issue, or voting decision.
(3) The sponsor shall not use grant funds in any activity for the purpose of influencing the passage or defeat of legislation or proposals by initiative petition, except:
(i) In any case in which a legislative body, a committee of a legislative body, or a member of a legislative body requests any volunteer in, or employee of such a program to draft, review or testify regarding measures or to make representation to such legislative body, committee or member; or
(ii) In connection with an authorization or appropriations measure directly affecting the operation of the Senior Companion Program.
(b) Non-displacement of employed workers. A Senior Companion shall not perform any service or duty or engage in any activity which would otherwise be performed by an employed worker or which would supplant the hiring of or result in the displacement of employed workers, or impair existing contracts for service.
(c) Compensation for service. (1) An agency or organization to which NSSC volunteers are assigned or which operates or supervises any NSSC program shall not request or receive any compensation from NSSC volunteers or from beneficiaries for services of NSSC volunteers.
(2) This section does not prohibit a sponsor from soliciting and accepting voluntary contributions from the community at large to meet its local support obligations under the grant or from entering into agreements with parties other than beneficiaries to support additional volunteers beyond those supported by the Corporation grant.
(3) A Senior Companion volunteer station may contribute to the financial support of the Senior Companion Program. However, this support shall not be a required precondition for a potential station to obtain Senior Companion service.
(4) If a volunteer station agrees to provide funds to support additional Senior Companions or pay for other Senior Companion support costs, the agreement shall be stated in a written Memorandum of Understanding. The sponsor shall withdraw services if the station's inability to provide monetary or in-kind support to the project under the Memorandum of Understanding diminishes or jeopardizes the project's financial capabilities to fulfill its obligations.
(5) Under no circumstances shall a Senior Companion receive a fee for service from service recipients, their legal guardian, members of their family, or friends.
(d) Labor and anti-labor activity. The sponsor shall not use grant funds directly or indirectly to finance labor or anti-labor organization or related activity.
(e) Fair labor standards. A sponsor that employs laborers and mechanics for construction, alteration, or repair of facilities shall pay wages at prevailing rates as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 276a.
(f) Nondiscrimination. A sponsor or sponsor employee shall not discriminate against a Senior Companion on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or political affiliation, or on the basis of disability, if the Senior Companion with a disability is qualified to serve.
(g) Religious activities. (1) A Senior Companion or a member of the project staff funded by the Corporation shall not give religious instruction, conduct worship services or engage in any form of proselytization as part of his or her duties.
(2) A sponsor or volunteer station may retain its independence and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs, provided that it does not use Corporation funds to support any inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services funded. If an organization conducts such activities, the activities must be offered separately, in time or location, from the programs or services funded under this part.
(h) Nepotism. Persons selected for project staff positions shall not be related by blood or marriage to other project staff, sponsor staff or officers, or members of the sponsor Board of Directors, unless there is written concurrence from the community group established by the sponsor under Subpart B of this part and with notification to the Corporation.
[64 FR 14115, Mar. 24, 1999, as amended at 69 FR 60095, Oct. 7, 2004]