Your volunteers work hard to fulfill your organization’s mission and serve the community. But with many activities, there can be risks involved. Nonprofits should consider requiring volunteers to sign valid waivers of liability to protect the organization and to continue providing a structured opportunity for volunteers to serve the community. Prepare your organization and volunteers for success (and safety) with the guidelines in this article, including a sample waiver.Nonprofit-Releases-Waivers-of-Liability
To realize the full potential of youth mentoring programs, it is critical for a nonprofit to have appropriate safeguards in place to protect the nonprofit, its volunteer mentors and its youth mentees. In the webinar, our speaker will review legal considerations for nonprofits that have volunteers who mentor youth, including:
- On-site vs in-the-community programming;
- Volunteer Handbooks & background checks;
- Provisions to include in your general liability insurance policy;
- Driving with youth mentees.
Speaker: Kristine Berry Morain, EVP, General Counsel, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
After two-years of staying grounded during the pandemic, you’ve organized a trip abroad and recruited a group of volunteers who are ready to fly out. But when traveling abroad, there are situations in which safety and security issues may outweigh the advantages of international experiences. What happens if something goes wrong? What happens if one of your volunteers is seriously injured, or even killed? Who is held legally responsible? Don’t miss this informative webcast for a broad overview of evaluating, avoiding and managing the risks associated with international trips. Topics discussed will include:
- The importance and content of liability releases
- Evaluation of potential security and health risks
- Steps to take before the departure of your trip
- Best practices for medical treatment in the event of an emergency abroad.
Speaker: Suhail Seth, Polisinelli
Nonprofits rely on volunteers to help them fulfill their missions everyday. Some nonprofits rely on a volunteer base more heavily than others, but all nonprofits eventually encounter a difficult volunteer. In this episode of the PBPA Podcast, Elizabeth Newton will speak to us about how to effectively and legally deal with challenging volunteers.Episode-27-Managing-Difficult-Do-gooders
To perform their services, many nonprofits rely on volunteers to drive. The circumstances in which a volunteer will drive vary widely, from transporting supplies to taking senior citizens to doctors’ appointments. Regardless of the reason volunteers get behind the wheel, nonprofits should develop a plan to mitigate the risk of having a volunteer on the road on its behalf. This article outlines steps your nonprofit can take to minimize those risks, whether your volunteers drive their own car or your nonprofits’ car or whether they are driving themselves or driving with passengers.Managing Risks with Volunteer Drivers
Does your organization conduct criminal background checks on employees and volunteers? If so, you must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In this webcast, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions for ensuring that your organization provides job applicants and volunteers with the disclosures and notices required by the law.
Presenters: Craig Bertschi, Kilpatrick Townsend
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, or national origin
Employers are also prohibited from discriminating because of citizenship status against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens with work authorization: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is, individuals who have gone through the legalization program), refugees, and asylees. However, foreign nationals and their potential employers should be aware that there are U.S. immigration regulations associated with both employment and volunteer opportunities. The unlawful employment of foreign nationals by U.S. employers is a violation of federal law and can subject employers to both civil and criminal penalties.Article- Is Your Employee or Volunteer a Foreign National
Nonprofits may be subject to the laws and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) related to safety in the workplace. This article provides an overview of OSHA, the federal agency that regulates workplace safety, injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements, OSHA inspections and penalties, OSHA requirements that are generally applicable to nonprofits, tips on establishing an effective safety program, and requirements for temporary employees.Article: Safety in the Workplace for Nonprofits
While having volunteers is allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, nonprofit organizations should be aware of the risks posed by providing compensation to their volunteers. This article addresses:
1) who is a volunteer
2) the risks of paying volunteers
3) what nonprofits can do to recognize their volunteersArticle: The Dangers of Compensating Volunteers
One of your employees is so committed to the organization that she offers to “volunteer” part of her time. She will do her job Monday through Friday but she will only be paid for four days a week. Sounds like a great solution to your nonprofit’s financial struggles, right? Wrong – according to the Department of Labor. Most employees must be paid for all of the time they spend doing their job. An employee may only “volunteer” if certain conditions are met, namely:
• The volunteer services must be aimed at advancing civic, charitable, or humanitarian goals, without the promise or expectation of any compensation.
• The employer must not require or coerce the volunteer services.
• The volunteer services must not be the same type of services performed by the employee in his or her regular position.
The last requirement may be the trickiest to satisfy. An employee may not provide volunteer services that are similar to their paid work. So a counselor may not volunteer to supervise children on a field trip and a teacher’s aide may not volunteer to assist teachers after hours.When May an Employee Also Serve as a Volunteer?
Nonprofit employees are often motivated not only by a paycheck, but by a passion for the organization that employs them. Such employees may feel inspired to contribute to their organization outside of their normal working day, in a volunteer capacity. Although these arrangements can benefit all involved, employers must approach them with caution. When certain conditions are not met, even employees who freely volunteer their time may be considered to be “working” and therefore entitled by law to a paycheck. Read this article before you let employees “volunteer” for your nonprofit.When May an Employee Also Serve as a Volunteer?
Nonprofits cannot survive without the help of volunteers, but they should be aware of and plan for the possible legal risks of working with volunteers. In this encore presentation of a popular workshop, our speaker discusses those risks and then give practical advice about ways to minimize them.
Topics to be covered include:
• Volunteer screening and background checks,
• workplace safety, and
• volunteer policies and procedures.
Presenter: Rebecca Shanlever, Hall, Arbery, Gilligan, Roberts & Shanlever LLPVolunteers and the Law
Updated on March 20, 2023
Answers to some frequently asked questions regarding background checks and a list of helpful resources.
If there is a risk that volunteers might get injured while working for your organization, it’s a good idea to have them sign a waiver of liability to protect the organization. Such waivers are generally enforceable in Georgia. While this article focuses on the law in Washington, DC and surrounding areas, it includes helpful information for all nonprofits working with volunteers.
Please note that in addition to the legal disclaimer above, this article contains information that is based, in whole or in part, on the laws of the District of Columbia. As a result, the information may not be appropriate for organizations operating outside the District of Columbia.Article: Liability Waivers for Volunteers
A nonprofit should perform some type of background investigation before hiring an employee and, in some cases, before engaging a volunteer. For some positions, it may be sufficient to check the work history and references. For others, it may be necessary to check criminal records, driving records and/or credit history. This article provides guidance on “best practices” for performing background screening.Article: Background Screening