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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor

Volunteers

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines employment very broadly, i.e., “to suffer or permit to work.” However, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the FLSA was not intended “to stamp all persons as employees who without any express or implied compensation agreement might work for their own advantage on the premises of another.”

In administering the FLSA, the U.S. Department of Labor follows this judicial guidance in the case of individuals serving as unpaid volunteers in various community services. Individuals who volunteer or donate their services, usually on a part-time basis, for public service, religious or humanitarian objectives, not as employees and without contemplation of pay, are not considered employees of the religious, charitable or similar non-profit organizations that receive their services.

To learn more about how the FLSA employment relationship provisions apply to volunteer work, please select one of the following:

For more general information about how the FLSA employment provisions apply to individuals who volunteer to work for any organization, please visit the FLSA Advisor.

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FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor | Wage and Hour Division