Special Employment Considerations for Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations will run into many of the same employment issues as for profit organizations. However, there is one issue that non-profits will encounter more frequently than its for profit brethren – Volunteers.
The payment of volunteers and interns is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA provides regulations governing who must be paid the federal minimum wage. For a volunteer position to be exempt from the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements, the following six criteria must be met:
The training must be similar to training that would be given in a vocational school or academic institution
The training must be for the benefit of the student interns
The student interns must not displace regular employees and must be closely supervised
The employer must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the student interns, and on occasion, the employer’s operations must actually be impeded by the internship
The student interns are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of their internship
The employer and the student interns understand that the student interns are not entitled to wages during the internship
If all 6 of the criteria are satisfied, then the volunteer/intern is exempt from application of the FLSA requirements and the employer would not be required by federal law to pay minimum wage.
Note that if your non-profit organization is a charitable organization, the employment of volunteer interns without an expectation of compensation is generally acceptable.