Legal Considerations when Engaging Volunteers


A nonprofit organization needs to be cognizant of the fact that it can be held liable for the wrongdoing of an employee or volunteer. Under the doctrine of “respondeat superior,” an employer is responsible for torts committed by an employee while the employee is acting in the course and scope of his or her employment. Arizona courts have acknowledged that volunteers may also be considered servants or agents for a principal under doctrine of respondeat superior. Respondeat Superior is a legal doctrine which states that an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their employment under certain circumstances. Thus, a nonprofit organization can be held liable for the actions of a volunteer who is acting in the course and scope of his volunteer relationship with the organization.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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