Direct Connect Entity Rights and Responsibilities

  • Direct Connect Entity (DCE): A legal LLL organization that affiliates with LLLI through a DCE Connection Agreement.
  • Area: An LLL entity officially connected to a DCE.
  • Area Network: An LLL entity officially connected to a DCE and consisting of two or more Areas.
  • “LLLI Marks” means the following names and marks: “La Leche League,” “LLL,” and the design and composite marks set forth in the Brand and Style Guidelines policy.
  • “Combined Mark” means a trademark or corporate name that includes any portion of the LLLI Marks.
  • Online spaces: A virtual space offering LLL support and information and formally connected to a DCE. For example, websites, Facebook groups, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Territory: The geographical and online spaces for which LLLI assigns a DCE responsibility through its DCE Connection agreement. In its assigned territory, each DCE is responsible for protection of the LLLI Marks and Combined Marks and for education and support of the Leaders who have a primary connection to it. Some territories may be assigned to multiple DCEs. In that case, each DCE has for the Leaders connected to it or to its Areas in the assigned territory, the responsibilities named in this policy. Leaders may use the trademarks and Combined Marks only within the assigned territory of the DCEs they are connected to or have a mutual written agreement with.
Criteria for Affiliation

LLLI may determine the number of DCEs based upon organizational growth and change.

Entities wishing to connect to LLLI shall meet the following criteria:

  1. recognize the right and responsibility of LLLI to set global policy for the organization,
  2. accept and conduct all activities in accordance with the LLL philosophy and Mission as defined by LLLI and conduct all of the DCE’s activities in accordance with the LLL Mission, philosophy and Policies and Standing Rules
  3. recognize that it is part of LLL, and that its Leaders are obligated to adhere to the LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  4. ensure that internally developed DCE policies are consistent with LLL policies and guidelines
  5. pursue objectives that are consistent with the LLL Mission
  6. recognize the world-wide accreditation of LLL Leaders, and that LLLI is the sole authority for the accreditation of Leaders
  7. fulfill their financial obligations to LLLI, and
  8. coordinate with all parts of the LLL organization in order to fulfill the LLL Vision and LLL Mission.

A DCE connected to LLLI has :

  1. a signed LLLI DCE Connection Agreement
  2. bylaws consistent with its LLLI DCE agreement. These bylaws do not have to be registered in the country of the DCE
  3. a statement through their bylaws or otherwise that extends the use of the LLLI Marks to all of the administrative units (Area Networks, Areas, or Groups) that are under its authority and supervision, with the provision that the DCE and all its administrative units agree that
    1. The LLLI Marks and Combined Mark are the exclusive property of LLLI
    2. If an administrative unit disassociates or disconnects from the DCE or LLLI, it will stop using the LLLI Marks and Combined Mark unless and until it connects to another DCE or to LLLI directly
    3. Upon disaffiliation of the DCE, all benefits revert back to LLLI or as described in its DCE Connection agreement with LLLI
    4. Upon disaffiliation of an administrative unit under the authority and supervision of the DCE, all benefits previously granted to the administrative unit in question will revert to the DCE.
DCE Rights

A DCE is in good standing when it complies with its LLLI DCE Connection Agreement and the LLL Policies and Standing Rules.

A DCE that is in good standing receives the general benefits as listed below and any other as stated in their DCE Connection Agreement:

  1. The DCE determines its own form of organization and operations to support the Leaders connected to it as they carry out the LLL Mission
  2. The DCE may have internal administrative units such as Area Networks and/or Areas that help support Leaders by assuming some or all of the responsibilities listed below
  3. The DCE has authority to approve new administrative units and their names, and to set guidelines regarding their bylaws and incorporation
  4. The DCE may have Leaders connected to it directly, or indirectly through an Area that has a connection to the DCE
  5. The DCE may use the LLL trademarks and create a combined mark for use within its assigned territory
  6. The DCE may extend the use of the LLL trademarks and combined marks to all its internal administrative units and, through special written agreement, to individual Leaders not connected to it, in accordance with the LLL Brand and Style Guides and the LLL Logo, and LLL Logo and Name Protection policies.See also Leaders Rights in Leader Rights and Responsibilities.
DCE Responsibilities

A DCE’s responsibilities include

  1. Conducting a review of their agreement with LLLI in preparation for renewal, 6 months prior to the ending date of their agreement, and submitting requests for changes at least 90 days before the agreement’s ending date
  2. Establishing a system for holding all its connected Leaders accountable to LLL for the Mission, philosophy, and LLL Policies and Standing Rules
  3. Ensuring that Leaders connected to it are aware of any laws relevant to carrying out the Leader role in all the jurisdictions within the DCE in which they do Leader work.
  4. Ensuring that Leaders connected to it are aware of their obligations regarding LLL policies
  5. Providing support to its connected Leaders, whether directly or via its administrative units
  6. Maintaining in the LLLI database a current list of its connected Leaders, indicating primary and, if appropriate, secondary connections
  7. Establishing a Leader Accreditation Department (LAD), and supporting LAD administrators as they accredit new Leaders
  8. Verifying that names of administrative units and other platforms or forums that promote LLL activities do not create public confusion with any other established LLL legal entity. See also Leader Rights and Responsibilities item 7
  9. Establishing a lawful system for handling and reporting monetary (financial) transactions, and ensuring that any internal administrative units have appropriate financial systems
  10. Ensuring the transparency of and access to DCE activity and financial reports by any internal administrative units and by the Leaders connected to it
  11. Establishing a process for admitting, retiring, and disconnecting Leaders or removing administrative units of the DCE, including a method for recording retired and disconnected Leaders in the Area database
  12. Establishing DCE guidelines for review of collaborative actions
  13. Establishing a process for Leaders to select their DCE Administrators and to remove their DCE administrators for cause before their term expires
  14. Establishing a DCE grievance process consistent with the LLLI conflict resolution processes, and ensuring that any internal administrative units have a similar grievance process or access to the DCE grievance process
  15. Establishing a whistleblower policy applicable to the DCE and which is consistent with the LLLI Whistleblower policy
  16. Abiding by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions pertaining to breastfeeding support organizations
  17. Respecting other DCEs’ organizational structures and any local requirements that they specify.
Serving in multiple DCE territories

DCEs allow and make provision for Leaders to seek secondary connections and agreements within different LLL territories.

If an LLL Leader wishes to do LLL work within the territory of a DCE to which they are not connected, then the Leader communicates with the DCE in whose territory they wish to do Leader work. The DCE provides the Leader an opportunity to make a secondary connection, or works with the Leader to find a mutually satisfactory arrangement. The DCE does not have to provide this opportunity if the Leader has been sanctioned or disconnected from the DCE or one of its administrative units.

Communication may be directly between the relevant Area and the Leader, or the administrators of the Leader’s primary connection may assist the Leader in communicating with the additional Area or DCE, as necessary.

The connection or agreement includes a clearly defined and mutually agreeable process for coordinating with local Leaders, for reporting contacts and other data, for resolving conflicts that might arise, and for permitting relevant use of the LLLI trademarks and Combined Marks within the DCE’s territory.

(Mar. 08, Oct. 09, April 22)