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University Administrative Manual

2,161: Volunteers

Last Revised: July 2004

A volunteer is any individual who performs a service for, and directly related to the business of, the University without expectation of monetary or material compensation. The University defines five types of volunteers:

  • Category A - a person who performs a volunteer assignment for three days of fewer
  • Category B - a person who performs a volunteer assignment for more than three days or on a recurring basis
  • An adjunct or clinical faculty member
  • A non-paid board member
  • A community service worker - a person assigned by a court to perform community service

Volunteers are not considered employees for any purpose other than workers' compensation and general liability protection. Therefore, they are not eligible for retirement and health benefits, other than workers' compensation, as a result of their volunteer status.

Volunteers are expected to abide by the same University policies and regulations that govern the actions of employees, including but not limited to those of ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, and drug and alcohol use.

The department head must select volunteers who meet the minimum qualifications to perform the tasks. Volunteers may not replace classified employees who have been laid off.

A volunteer may not perform any work until he/she has signed the volunteer agreement form detailing the nature of the work to be performed and the relationship of the volunteer to the University.

Volunteers serve at the pleasure of the institution. Accordingly, a volunteer assignment can be terminated at the discretion of the institution without notice or cause.

Minors:

A person under the age of 18 may only become a volunteer with parental consent. Minors are not allowed to work with any type of machinery and/or equipment under any condition.

Employee Performing Volunteer Service:

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a non-exempt employee cannot be both a paid employee and a non-paid volunteer while performing the same type of work for the same employer. For example, a program assistant in the History Department cannot be considered a volunteer if their volunteer assignment requires them to perform program assistant duties in the Sociology Department. Any hourly employee who is entitled to overtime, such as a classified employee, is generally considered to be non-exempt.

Volunteer Training:

Each department will be responsible for training its volunteers. If volunteers will be working with machines and/or equipment they must be provided with the proper protective gear. Training must be completed successfully before the volunteer may begin the assignment. If the volunteer will be working with machines and/or equipment, they must be supervised by a trained staff member or experienced volunteer.

Volunteer Screening:

Each department can establish its own screening process that best meets its needs. Department screening policies must be in compliance with University EEOC/AA policies. A prospective volunteer may be required to undergo a rigorous screening process to determine fitness for the assignment. It is strongly recommended that each department develop a description of the volunteer assignment prior to the screening process. This will assist in determining the experience, qualifications, and training needed to fill that assignment. Such a process may include, but is not limited to: interview, a background check, fingerprinting, and reference check. The volunteer agreement form can be found on the University's website under BCN Workers' Compensation forms.

Guidelines for Engaging Volunteers:

1. Category "A" Volunteer (a person who performs a volunteer assignment for three days or fewer)

  1. Develop a description of the volunteer assignment
  2. Determine the experience, qualifications, and training needed
  3. Recruit volunteers
  4. Perform appropriate screening of prospective volunteers

Upon acceptance of a volunteer, complete the following:

  1. Explain the manner and method by which the volunteer will be expected to perform their assignment. Ensure the volunteer is physically able to perform these duties.
  2. Explain all policies and procedures that apply to the volunteer.
  3. Provide any assignment specific training that is deemed necessary.
  4. Record the volunteer's name and social security number (or other identifier) and obtain emergency contact information. Emergency contact information can be obtained by have the employee complete a Personal Data form.
  5. Add the volunteer's name and social security number (or other identifier) to the Workers' Compensation Volunteer Report and submit it to BCN Workers' Compensation Office.

2. Category "B" Volunteer (a person who performs a volunteer assignment for more than three days or on a recurring basis)

  1. Develop a description of the volunteer assignment
  2. Determine the experience, qualifications, and training needed
  3. Recruit volunteers
  4. Perform appropriate screening of prospective volunteers

Upon acceptance of a volunteer, complete the following:

  1. Explain the manner and method by which the volunteer will be expected to perform their assignment. Ensure the volunteer is physically able to perform these duties.
  2. Explain all policies and procedures that apply to the volunteer.
  3. Provide any assignment specific training that is deemed necessary.
  4. Upon completion of the training and review of the assignment, have the volunteer read and sign the Volunteer Agreement form.
  5. Provide the BCN Workers' Compensation Office with a copy of the Volunteer Agreement.
  6. Immediately notify the BCN Workers' Compensation Office if the end or start date of the assignment changes.

3. Adjunct/Clinical Faculty

  1. Select an adjunct/clinical faculty member.
  2. Complete a Terms of Employment for Adjunct/Clinical Faculty form.
  3. Discuss relevant policies and procedures with the faculty member.
  4. Have the adjunct/clinical faculty member sign the Terms of Employment for Adjunct/Clinical Faculty form.
  5. Obtain emergency contact information. This information can be obtained by having the adjunct/clinical faculty member complete a Personal Data form.
  6. Distribute the contract to the appropriate parties.
  7. Provide the BCN Workers' Compensation Office with the original of all accepted contracts.

4. Board Member

  1. Select the board member.
  2. Explain all policies and procedures that apply to the board member.
  3. Obtain emergency contact information. This information can be obtained by having the board member complete a Personal Data form.
  4. Report the board member's name and social security number to the BCN Workers' Compensation Office quarterly. A form for reporting volunteers is provided by the BCN Workers' Compensation Office.

5. Community Service Worker (a person assigned by a court to perform community service)

  1. Develop a description of the assignment.
  2. Determine the experience, qualifications, and training needed.
  3. Perform appropriate screening of prospective volunteers.

Upon acceptance of a volunteer, complete the following:

  1. Explain the manner and method by which the volunteer will be expected to perform their assignment. Ensure the volunteer is physically able to perform these duties.
  2. Explain all policies and procedures that apply to the volunteer.
  3. Provide any assignment specific training that is deemed necessary.
  4. Record the volunteer's name and social security number (or other identifier) and obtain emergency contact information. Emergency contact information can be obtained by have the employee complete a Personal Data form.
  5. Add the volunteer's name and social security number (or other identifier) to the Workers' Compensation Volunteer Report and submit it to BCN Workers' Compensation Office.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:

The University of Nevada, Reno is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, and sexual orientation, in any program or activity it operates.

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University of Nevada, Reno
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