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Health Law Quick Take: Volunteers and Paid Employees - June 3, 2020

Q: As we reopen our hospital more fully, we are looking at the role of our volunteers.  Can we bring back volunteers, even if some paid employees are still on a furlough/layoff?


A: Yes, generally you can bring back volunteers even if you still have some employees on a temporary layoff or furlough. How that would be viewed will depend on what you are bringing them back to do. If this is part of a long-standing volunteer program, presumably the roles they would fill would be clearly and traditionally volunteer work. 


You may encounter an issue if you were bringing them back to replace paid employees. In that instance, you would look at your volunteer role criteria and make sure that you are bringing them back in that role. If you have not reviewed your volunteer program for wage hour compliance, this would be a good opportunity to do so before you ramp back up.



HR Quick Takes features client questions and answers from Iowa employment attorneys. If you have a question you’d like answered, email info@davisbrownlaw.com.


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