Don’t think you have enough employees to be covered by Title VII’s anti-discrimination provisions or other laws? If volunteers help your organization accomplish its work and you don’t count them, think again.
According to a recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, even if they don’t receive a paycheck, volunteers may sometimes be included in the 15-worker count for coverage if they receive other benefits.
Recent case: Marcia Bryson first began working for the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and then as an administrative assistant. She alleged that the fire chief subjected her to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual services and physical contact of a sexual nature. She said he conditioned her job on agreeing to sexual favors.
At the time, the fire department had at most nine employees on the (register to read more). In addition, a small group of volunteer firefighters received no direct pay. ...