Q. We are a small nonprofit organization that provides social services to the homeless. We cannot afford to pay employees overtime compensation, but some have expressed an interest in donating time to the organization to help provide services. Can our employees also provide work as volunteers?
A. Maybe. People who work for civic, charitable or humanitarian organizations can volunteer their time to an agency without promise or expectation of compensation.
But employees cannot volunteer to provide the same type of work that they perform in their jobs for you. So, for example, someone who works as a counselor in your organization could volunteer to prepare meals for clients. That volunteer time would not be compensable as long as the employee did not have any expectation of compensation or job benefit, and as long as the employee did not feel coerced to “volunteer” his or her services.