Volunteers make an important contribution to the success of the University. Judgment and care must be exercised in the use of volunteers. In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the University considers a volunteer to be an individual who performs hours of service for the University for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered.
Individuals, who are employed by the University, in any capacity, may volunteer hours of service to the University. Employees paid on an hourly basis are restricted to services that are not the same as or similar to the type of services for which they are employed. Similar services are defined as activities requiring the same skills/knowledge or that directly or indirectly support the work for which an individual is compensated. The use of minors as volunteers should be in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations and University Human Resource policy HR 116 Employment of Minors with regard to the type of services performed, equipment used and parental authorization required.
Expenses or Fees
Courts have interpreted the FLSA to permit volunteers to be paid expenses and/or nominal fees for their service without losing their volunteer status. Expenses or fees that may be paid include: out-of-pocket expenses incurred incidental to providing volunteer services (e.g. meal, transportation and uniform expenses); training related expenses; a nominal fee which is not a substitute for compensation and is not based on productivity; and benefit coverage such as disability and Workers' Compensation. Volunteers who regularly provide service to the University are covered by Workers' Compensation whether or not they are formally recognized. Therefore, the immediate reporting of all injuries is very important.
A department's senior administrator is responsible for the approval of volunteer assignments. It is recommended that a signed statement of understanding be used with a copy to Human Resource Services to assure the volunteer is providing services freely. The Staff Volunteer Information Sheet is available for this purpose.
Date Created: 9/26/97
Last Updated: 02/14/11