Now that summer is upon us, many non-profit organizations have begun utilizing summer volunteers. Questions often arise as to whether wage and hour laws require that these volunteers be paid. The answer is no, if they are truly volunteers. To be certain that they are, here are the top five questions every non-profit should ask about their volunteers. The answer to each question should be no.

  1. Is the volunteer working on a full-time basis?
  2. Is the volunteer receiving any benefits?
  3. Are regular employees being displaced because of the volunteer’s work?
  4. Is the volunteer being coerced into offering his or her services?
  5. Is the volunteer providing services not typically associated with volunteer work?

Check with your lawyer if the call is close.  Get this wrong, and the liability can be significant!