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

Staff Who Volunteer

Just like other individuals, staff of facilities that provide employment and services to workers with disabilities may volunteer to perform certain tasks for their employers without creating an employment relationship under the FLSA. However, under the FLSA, employees may not normally volunteer services to for-profit employers.

Employees of a work center or hospital cannot volunteer to perform the same services they are normally employed and paid to perform. For example, a secretary cannot volunteer to respond to correspondence generated by a special fund-raising drive.

Individuals, including staff members, who “volunteer” to help a work center or hospital meet production deadlines required by contract or subcontract work orders are not considered volunteers under the FLSA and an employment relationship exists when they are engaged in such activities.

For more general information about the employment relationship and volunteering by staff members, visit the elaws FLSA Advisor.

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