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Dec 09

Illegal Volunteers?: A Look at how the Law Restricts Community and Family Volunteers

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The federal minimum wage prohibits Americans from volunteering for entities organized as for-profit businesses. As a result many family businesses and community organizations have found themselves in trouble with the law.

Recently Representative Tim Griffin and Senator John Boozman have introduced federal legislation, H.R. 3173 and S. 1656, to help women, predominantly, who volunteer to set up used-children’s-items consignment sales, after a business was cited for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Wineries have had a long tradition of volunteer participation, but recently the California Department of Industrial Relations levied a $130,000 fine on a winery that had only made $11,000 profit in its almost 25 year history. A California organic farmer was fined $1,050 because family members, such as siblings and nieces and nephews helped on his one-acre farm.

Has the administration of the law exceeded its original intent and gone beyond what is reasonable?

More About the Speakers

The Honorable Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Member, U.S. House of Representatives, and Arkansas Lieutenant Governor-Elect

William Westover Smyth
California Vintner

Alex Passantino
Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP Former Acting Administrator, Wage & Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor

J. Aloysius Hogan, Esq.
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Hosted By

James Sherk James Sherk

Research Fellow, Labor Economics Read More