Volunteers are an integral part of operations for some organizations. Despite the altruistic intent, volunteers can pose a significant risk to an organization as an employer. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., as amended, (the "Act") governs certain aspects of an employer's obligations related to its employees, including minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and limitations on youth employment. Although the Act does not apply to every organization, it does apply to organizations engaged in commerce; federal, state, or local government agencies; hospitals or other institutions engaged in caring for the sick, aged, or mentally ill; schools; and organizations with annual sales in excess of $500,000, regardless of for-profit or nonprofit status. See, e.g., 29 U.S.C. § 206(a) & 203(b), (r).
As a result, many organizations may be at risk of having to pay supposed volunteers wages, including overtime, if the organization fails keep the employee versus volunteer distinction intact. Read more at the National Law Review....
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