[Libs-Or] Volunteer vs. paid.

Emily PAPAGNI emilyp at multco.us
Mon Oct 21 20:12:54 PDT 2013


There is an Oregon labor law that says you can't do volunteer work
that is similar in nature to your paid work.

Libraries probably vary in the way that they interpret the law in
accordance with their HR policies.

It's my understanding that the law is put in place to protect workers'
rights. Wage and hour laws state that people must be paid for work
that is in their regular scope of duties. So if someone performs a
specific kind of work as part of their regular duties then that person
can't also "work for free" doing the same thing. It's like working off
the clock.

Here's some info from The Bureau of Labor and Industries web site:



Emily Papagni
Answerland Support Librarian
Multnomah County Library
Phone: 503.988.5433
emilyp at multco.us

On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Robin Speer <robin.d.speer at state.or.us> wrote:
> To add to Buzzy’s comments…here is what I will contribute.
> Not knowing more details, if the paid employee is doing volunteer tasks that
> are the same as her paid position, it could be problematic. My
> recommendation is to seek professional advice from your HR department.
> Robin Speer
> Volunteer Program Coordinator
> Talking Book & Braille Services Fund Development Coordinator
> Oregon State Library
> 503-378-5014
> From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf
> Of Buzzy Nielsen
> Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 10:45 AM
> To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
> Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Volunteer vs. paid.
> We don't allow staff to do "volunteer" hours for our library district.
> According to our lawyer, it's too rife for abuse and potentially opens you
> up for lawsuits. For instance, you could imagine scenarios where an
> unscrupulous manager "requires" volunteer hours or an unscrupulous
> ex-employee sues claiming that s/he was required to do volunteer hours
> rather than being paid.
> That being said, I sometimes have to remind my staff that they actually do
> need to put all of the hours they worked on their timesheets. it's nice to
> have dedicated folks!
> Cheers!
> Buzzy Nielsen
> ************************************
> Library Director
> Hood River County Library District
> 502 State St
> Hood River, OR 97031
> 541-387-7062
> http://hoodriverlibrary.org
> On 10/18/2013 09:58 AM, Cheryl Spangler wrote:
> I have a volunteer who just got put on the pay roll. I have been told that
> she can either get paid or volunteer because of laws pertaining to that.
> She works 4 hours a week and fills in wherever we need her. What do you do
> in this case?
> Cheryl Spangler
> Harrisburg Public Library
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