Volunteers

News & Analysis as of

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

Perspectives - January 2014

In This Issue: - Considerations in the Cloud: Managing the Risks - United States V. Sperry: A Revived Threat to Owners, Directors, Managers and Directors of Distressed Organizations - Board Membership &...more

Consider These Tips in Maximizing Your Charitable Tax Deduction

As you gather your tax materials and prepare to file your 2013 tax returns, you may wish to consider whether you have incurred out-of-pocket expenses while serving as a volunteer on behalf of a charitable organization. If so,...more

Caution: Payments to Volunteers Can Lead to Trouble

Nonprofit organizations and governmental entities are permitted to use volunteer labor. In many instances, the work performed mirrors that performed by paid staff. Employers may want to recognize the time and efforts of the...more

Affordable Care Act Update: Volunteer Firefighters And Other Emergency Responders Are Not Full-Time Employees Or FTE’s Under ACA

On January 10, 2014 the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders (“volunteer emergency personnel”) at governmental or tax-exempt organizations “generally” need not be...more

Regulators Provide ACA Guidance on Volunteer Emergency Workers

On Friday, the Department of Treasury announced on its blog that it intends to provide an exemption to the employer penalty provisions for volunteer firefighters and emergency services personnel. According to its blog post,...more

Volunteer Firefighters Qualify as Employees Under Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act

A volunteer firefighter alleged his termination violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s...more

Employer-Sponsored Volunteerism: Doing Right When Employees are Doing Good

Along with back-to-school events and apple picking, corporate-sponsored volunteer opportunities are a hallmark of the Fall season. September and October traditionally bring runs and walks for charity; nationally and locally...more

Delaware Enacts Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act

On September 6, 2013, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act, DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 19, § 1901 et seq. (H.B. 21), a measure designed to ensure that volunteer...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Volunteer Firefighters Must Be Counted As Employees To Determine Whether A Dispatcher Is Eligible For FMLA...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in Mendel v. City of Gibraltar that volunteer firefighters, who receive $15 per hour whenever they voluntarily choose to respond to calls, are employees who must be counted...more

African Trial Advocacy Program improves Legal Services and Quality of Life in Botswana

Attorney Dean Brett, of the Brett Murphy Law Firm of Seattle, recently returned from a volunteer position teaching trial advocacy in Botswana, Africa, through Justice Advocacy Africa (JAA), a non-profit organization founded...more

Hospitality Update, No. 3, September 2013: Court Rejects "Al Capone Defense" To FLSA Violations

On July 29, a federal appeals court addressed the question of whether the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime protections apply to undocumented aliens working illegally for an employer. Drawing on an analogy...more

The Continuing Saga Of Unpaid Workers & Misclassification Issues

Worker misclassification continues to be an issue at the forefront of today's workplace....more

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