3.63 / Volunteer Policy

  1. Initiating Authority

    Human Resources

  2. Purpose

    Wichita State University (“University”) recognizes the vital role that Volunteers play in accomplishing its mission.  This policy characterizes the nature of Volunteer service; establishes mechanisms to promote a safe, productive, and mutually beneficial environment; specifies allowable Volunteer services with appropriate authorization; and identifies the actions necessary for Volunteer services.  

  3. Policy Statement

    This policy is intended to reduce risk and protect the interests of the University, and those who volunteer their services. Volunteers are not considered employees for any purpose and are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

  4. Definitions

    For the purpose of this policy only, the following definitions shall apply:

    • Campus: Buildings, facilities, grounds, or property controlled by the University.

    • Employee:  An individual who provides services to the University on a regular basis in exchange for compensation and receives a W-2 for such services

    • Familial Relationship: Includes domestic partner, spouse, parent, grandparent, children, grandchildren, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew; related by blood, marriage, or adoption. The term “domestic partner” as used here, means a person with whom another person maintains a household and an intimate relationship, other than a person to whom such person is legally married.

    • Host Department: A University department that identifies the need for a Volunteer. The Host Department oversees the services provided by the Volunteer.

    • Leadership: Includes individuals at the University who have Employees reporting to them or are Department Chairs/Directors.

    • Volunteer: An individual who provides services to the University voluntarily without promise or expectation of wages, compensation, benefits, unemployment coverage, or remuneration of any sort.  A Volunteer may be a member of the community or an Employee of the University.  An Employee may volunteer for a University function if they are volunteering in a capacity that is different from their employment.  An Employee cannot volunteer to perform activities that are the same or similar to essential duties performed in their job. 

  5. Administrative Procedure

    1. The following criteria must be met to engage in a Volunteer relationship with the University:
      1. Understand and agree that the University may terminate or decline a Volunteer relationship for any reason, at any time, without prior notice or cause. 
      2. There is no assurance or reason to expect that the University will offer employment to a Volunteer following the Volunteer service.
      3. A Volunteer position may not displace an active Employee, or perform functions traditionally assigned to an Employee. Additionally, a Volunteer may not provide services that are substantially the same as those provided by an Employee in a paid position. 
      4. A Volunteer cannot be supervised by anyone with a Familial Relationship without next level leadership’s prior approval. 
      5. Volunteers who are under the age of eighteen (18) must have written consent of a parent or guardian prior to the Volunteer service. 
      6. Volunteers are prohibited from engaging in any of the following tasks at the University:
        1. Operation of heavy equipment, including State vehicles.
        2. Work with stored energy (steam, electricity, hydraulics).
        3. Work with infections or potentially infectious agents, including bodily fluids.
        4. Performance of services requiring access to proprietary information.
        5. Work in a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registered facility.
        6. Performance of activities considered inappropriate for any employee.
      7. A Host Department is not permitted, under any circumstance, to provide a payment that may be linked to productivity or as compensation for service provided. 
    2. Host Department and Volunteers may be required to complete paperwork prior to the event as described below. This paperwork is found on the Forms Index page of the University Human Resources (HR) webpage.
      1. Volunteer Event Form must be completed if: 
        1. The event will last more than two (2) consecutive calendar days; OR
        2. ii. The Volunteer provides the same service for more than three (3) calendar days in a year; OR
        3. iii. The Volunteer will be working directly with minors; OR 
        4. iv. The Volunteer will handle cash or financial transactions; OR
        5. Volunteer is under the age of eighteen (18) 
      2. Background Check is required if the Volunteer will be: 
        1. Working directly with minors OR 
        2. ii. Cash or financial transactions will be processed 
    3. Additional information can be found on the HR website under Volunteer Procedures.
  6. Applicable Laws And Additional Resources

    • DOL Fact sheet #14A: Non-Profit Organizations and the Fair Labor Standards Act