Volunteers

Departmental Responsibility: Office of Human Resources
Topic: Volunteers
Policy: Volunteers
Effective: April 15, 1986
Last Revised Date: February 05, 2016

Volunteers

Goal:

This regulation governs the work of volunteers.

Definition:

Individuals shall be considered volunteers only where their services are offered freely and without pressure or coercion, direct or implied. An individual who performs volunteer services for an entity that is not directly related to the business of the institution (e.g., a government or public agency or an alumni association), is not considered an institutional volunteer for the purposes of this policy. However, an individual who performs volunteer services in the community on behalf of the institution when there is no outside agency involved is considered a volunteer.  Caution: These situations may appear ambiguous. Whenever you are not certain as to whether an individual should be classified as a volunteer, contact the Office of Human Resources.

Eligibility:

1.  Anyone, including current or retired employees, students, alumni, or others may provide volunteer services to the institution, with the following restrictions;

a)    All volunteers under the age of 16 must provide written parental consent;

b)    An employee may not become a volunteer at the institution in any capacity in which she or he is employed by the university, or which is in the same occupational category, or which is essentially similar to the individual’s regular work at the university;

c)    Volunteers are prohibited from working in high security or sensitive areas.

2.  To qualify as a volunteer, an individual must be willing to provide services according to the procedures in this policy

3.  A volunteer is an agent of the institution while performing assigned duties. Therefore, volunteers are expected to abide by institutional policies and external regulations that govern their actions, including but not limited to those of ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, and illegal use of drugs. Volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and are not considered employees for any purpose. As a result of this volunteer association, they are not eligible for nor entitled to any institutional benefits, including Worker’s Compensation.

 Restrictions:

1.  Use of a volunteer’s services in any attempt to abuse or manipulate wage or overtime requirements is not allowed.

2. Volunteers are prohibited from the following;

a)    Operation of heavy equipment;

b)    Working with hazardous materials, environments or related areas which may otherwise place the volunteer at risk for physical harm, until they have received adequate orientation and training of the hazards from the supervisor/principal investigator who is responsible for the areas where the hazards exist;

c)    Working with stored energy;

d)    Any activity considered inappropriate for an employee;

e)    Entering into any contract on behalf of the institution;

f)     Volunteers under the age of 18 are prohibited from working in hazardous areas. (Note: If you have any questions regarding hazardous environment, contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.)

3.  Payment for volunteer services is not allowed.  An individual providing volunteer services does so without the expectation of employment, an offer of employment or compensation other than reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred while performing in an official capacity as a volunteer.

Process:

Background Investigation: First-time volunteers and individuals with a break in volunteer time greater than 90 days must complete a background check. Departments must request that the Office of Human Resources conduct a background check and receive positive results before the volunteer can engage in any activities or services on a Clemson University program or project. For further instructions, see Background Check Procedure.

Disclosure Statement: Returning volunteers from a break in volunteer time of 90 days or less must complete and sign a Disclosure Statement, which should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources prior to beginning the volunteer assignment. If the break in volunteer time is greater than 90 days, a new background check must be completed prior to beginning the volunteer assignment. Additionally, current paid and volunteer staff with independent, unsupervised access to minors must complete the Disclosure Statement annually.

Volunteer Release:  All volunteers must complete and sign a Volunteer Release Form  and return to the  Department in charge of the volunteer activity prior to beginning the volunteer assignment.



THE LANGUAGE USED IN THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE AND THE AGENCY. THE DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE ANY CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS OR ENTITLEMENTS. THE AGENCY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVISE THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, IN WHOLE OR IN PART. NO PROMISES OR ASSURANCES, WHETHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, WHICH ARE CONTRARY OR INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF THIS PARAGRAPH CREATE ANY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.

Contact HR

Clemson University 
Office of Human Resources

108 Perimeter Rd,
Clemson, SC 29634
ATTN: Employee Records

Phone: 864.656.2000
Fax: 864.656.4672
Email: ContactHRSC@clemson.edu

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