Volunteers

News & Analysis as of

New Law Requires Employers to Grant Leave to Volunteer Emergency Responders

Effective December 22, 2014, employers in New York must grant leave to employees who also serve as volunteer emergency responders during times when the Governor has declared a state of emergency. ...more

Volunteers Alleging Employment Status Lose Title VII Case, but Court Applies Vigorous Analysis First

Everyone’s looking for volunteers. The Salvation Army recruits helpers with the promise of “Doing the most good.” Volunteers of America invites participation by reminding the public “There are no limits to caring.” Even...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

New California Employment Laws for 2015 and Beyond

It is that time of year again, California. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow semi-colder (it is still California after all), a flurry of activity begins as employers revisit their policies and handbooks to assess...more

New Employment Laws Affecting California Businesses in 2015

The California Legislature recently enacted a number of new employment laws that will take effect in 2015 that will impact businesses in California. With the New Year quickly approaching, employers should review their...more

New State Act Increases Background Check Requirements for School Employees and Volunteers

In the flurry of activity before the end of the legislative session in October, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed and Governor Thomas Corbett signed into law Act 153 of 2014, that amended the state Child Protective Services...more

New Law Protects Volunteer Workers

A new New York State law prohibits employers from firing volunteer firefighters and members of volunteer ambulance squads for taking time off from their jobs to respond to state of emergencies such as hurricanes and...more

2014’s First Noteworthy Law Firm Holiday E-Card is from BLG.

Canada’s national Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) is “committed to instilling a love of reading” through its “BLG Reads to Kids” program. For a decade, their professionals have been volunteering at local schools to read with the...more

California Employment Law Update: What’s New for 2015?

The California Legislature was unusually active this year. Significantly, California introduced mandatory paid sick live, created new “unfair immigration-related practices” and expanded potential liability for employers who...more

2015 Labor & Employment Law Update for California Employers

The California Legislature enacted a number of new bills that become effective in 2015. Among the most significant are the following...more

Volunteers Are Not “Employees” Protected From Employment Discrimination Under Title VII

Many non-profit organizations, public agencies, and other employers rely upon volunteers. But what happens when an organization decides to terminate a volunteer’s affiliation with it because of the volunteer’s religion? ...more

IRS Acts Quickly to Facilitate Donations for Ebola Victims and Offer Tax Relief

While employers and employees alike are asking questions about the proper workplace response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, these same folks are also asking how they can help the victims, their families and those who...more

When "Free" Is Too Good To Be True: Rethinking Interns And Volunteers Under Wage & Hour Laws

Educational institutions of all kinds often utilize the services of volunteers or so-called interns to assist with coaching sports or other extracurricular activities, and to participate in programs that are mutually...more

Volunteers Cause Winery Woes

Volunteers and for-profit businesses shouldn’t be served together. That lesson has proved to be fatal for a small California winery. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Westover Winery’s “use of volunteer workers...more

Quirky Question #241, Working for Free In Montana At A Start-Up Business

Quirky Question - I was laid off by my Montana employer and I have decided to help my brother with his start up business. I will be a 50% owner but we are not going to take a salary until revenue is substantial. An...more

Using Work Hours as Volunteer Hours Becoming Part of Corporate Culture

The hip shoe and sunglasses company TOMS has set the bar for giving back to the community through its One for One movement. The Southern California-based business helps someone in need for every product it sells and, since...more

A 40 Hour per Week Volunteer? Second Circuit Says Yes

For forty hours, five days a week, for three years, Jayquan Brown provided services to New York City Department of Education’s Banana Kelly High School. Brown, who was a graduate of the school, was unable to secure a paid job...more

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Addresses FLSA’s Public Agency Volunteer Exception, But Withholds Comment on Private Sector...

For the first time the Second Circuit Court of Appeals tackled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s public agency volunteer exception. In Brown v. New York City Board of Education, the Court outlined the contours of the exception...more

When it Comes to Volunteers and Unpaid Interns There is No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

It is summertime and the schools are out. You get a call from an eager college student offering to intern at your company for free. It seems like a win-win situation, right? Your company wins by having someone finally get...more

It’s All In The Benefits — Non-Salary Remuneration Can Render Your Volunteer An “Employee” For Purposes Of The Connecticut Fair...

When is an unpaid volunteer considered an “employee” and thus able to sue for discrimination or retaliation under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”)? The answer: when the volunteer receives remuneration...more

Don’t Let Volunteer Efforts Become a Legal Hazard

While we do not like thinking about legal or safety matters when it comes to things that make us feel good, remembering some key points can help ensure the experience remains a safe and positive one for both the volunteer and...more

Once An Employee – Never A Volunteer

It should be obvious that employees cannot be required to perform services for their employers as “volunteers.” This is properly seen by the Department of Labor as a ruse to avoid paying wages or overtime. By contrast,...more

Hospitalitas Newsletter - Spring 2014

In This Issue: - Your Grandmother Doesn’t Work for Free: Volunteer and Intern Positions Under Closer Scrutiny - Excessive Celebration – Penalty Declined - Four Crisis Management Lessons from the...more

Major League Baseball Volunteers Are not Employees Under the FLSA

On March 26, 2014, the District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed John Chen’s proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action against Major League Baseball (MLB) alleging that MLB had failed to...more

Hope Springs Eternal . . . Except for a Volunteer at Major League Baseball’s FanFest on the Losing End of a Wage and Hour Class...

In baseball, the beginning of spring means hope for fans of even the most hard luck teams. Unfortunately for one erstwhile fan, the first days of spring ushered in a dismissal of his putative wage and hour class action. The...more

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