Total HR Questions & Answers #5: Is It Okay To Have People Volunteer To Work At Our Business Without Being Paid?
In Total HR Questions & Answers, our PEO (professional employer organization) experts provide answers to questions posed in the present and the past by the management teams of our client companies and potential clients.
In this challenging economy, more and more young people are offering to volunteer at my business without being paid.
This is a tough question because the answer is unclear and even legally uncertain under the terms of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The key distinction from this rule is that people cannot volunteer unpaid services to an employer which are the same as, similar to, or related to their normal jobs.
From the perspective of Total HR Management, volunteer work is allowed in certain circumstances, but permitting it means wading into potentially dangerous waters.
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Whitsundays Marketing and Development has put together a huge library of resources to assist event organisers in holding successful events. We've collated a series resources called the Event Fundamentals Toolkit to help you plan your event. The importance of volunteers in the event industry is well known.Their contribution in both economic and social terms is extensive and much ofthe activity of the industry would not happen without their support. These efforts include our popular community training courses such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
This web site has a series of informative articles that give practical advice for surviving and preparing for natural emergencies as well as a list of local emergency numbers and online resources. The City of Moreno Valley places a high priority on being prepared for emergencies and disasters. The City of Moreno Valley is looking to recruit volunteer interns to assist in conducting research and writing of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), updating Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Standardized Operating Procedures, functional annexes, Homeland Security and plan for Citywide Full Scale Disaster Exercise. The 2011 City of Moreno Valley Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is designed to reduce or eliminate the long-term natural or man-made hazard risks to human life and property. The purpose of the Riverside County Operational Area Mass Care and Shelter Guidance and Annex for Emergency Planners is to establish plans, procedures and guidelines for providing protective shelters, temporary lodging and feeding of persons affected by an emergency, disaster, or precautionary evacuation.
The City of Moreno Valley Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a centralized location for decision making about our jurisdiction’s emergency response.
City of Moreno Valley Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff are organized around the five Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) functions.
To activate our EOC 24 hours a day, EOC staff work 12-hour shifts with two staff members trained to work each position. EOC’s within the State of California use the same five SEMS functions, which is helpful during a large-scale incident where mutual aid is requested.

Operations Section is responsible for coordinating all field operations in support of the emergency. Logistics Section is responsible for providing and maintaining facilities, services, personnel, equipment, and materials.
Finance Section is responsible for financial activities such as tracking emergency hours, compensation and claims, and overall emergency costs. Through CERT training, the CityA  provides information to citizens about being prepared to handle disasters and how to reduce the risk of hazards in and around the home. The Emergency Response Force (ERF) is an emergency management volunteer program supervised by the Office of Emergency Management and Volunteer Services.
ACES is defined as Amateur Communications Emergency Services and RACES is defined as Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services. The City of Moreno Valleya€™s Emergency Alert and Warning Notification System is utilized to rapidly send notifications to all residents and businesses in an affected area in the event of an emergency or disaster. For phones, the system will automatically call listed and unlisted telephone numbers within the area affected by the emergency and deliver a recorded message. The City of Moreno Valley assumes no responsibility if an emergency message cannot be delivered or is not received.
The City of Moreno Valley uses both the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) when responding to emergencies.
The goal is to provide professional human resources oriented answers to challenging questions. Even more important, the Department of Labor strongly implies that volunteering is almost always restricted to non-profit settings.
Since the FLSA lays out such stringent rules with a strict take on the nature of volunteerism, it is better not to take an unnecessary risk.
To help residents prepare for emergencies, the City provides Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at a minimal cost. The intern will collect and record data; conduct research, and assist with updates from FEMA, CalEMA, data entry and moderately complex application programming.
Empower yourself and help coordinate preparedness activities for your family, neighbors and coworkers, and those with whom you may study or worship with.
The LHMP is written so that all stakeholders can understand Moreno Valley's hazard risks and the city's corresponding mitigation strategy. The EOC is where our emergency response actions can be managed and resource allocations and responses can be tracked and coordinated with the field, operational area, and OES region. EOC staff are asked to refer to our Standarized Operating Procedures (SOP) manual for position descriptions and checklists.
Moreno Valley EOC staff will also communicate and coordinate with the Riverside County Operational Area EOC and other EOCs within Riverside County.

The Management Section includes the following positions: EOC Director, EOC Manager, Liaison Officer, City Attorney, Public Information Officer (PIO), Safety Officer and Security Officer. Members consist of trained individuals who typically have a background in CPR and first aid and emergency response. Utilizing state of the art ham radio technology, they provide vital communications support during emergency incidents and routine events and activities. The meetings are located at: Moreno Valley Emergency Operations Center, 22870 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos. The team provides emergency communications in the field and in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
This is a great way for members to show off their ham radio knowledge and encourage others to join our team.
The team provides each of the announcers throughout the parade route with updates to the parade script. We hold this event on the last full weekend in June each year at Moreno Valley Community Park.
If phone lines are busy, the system will attempt to redial those telephone numbers to make contact. The fifth question in this ongoing series is about whether or not it is okay to have people volunteer to work at your business without being paid. EOC staff facilitate decisions for overall local government level emergency response activities will use multi-agency or inter-agency coordination.
CERT also teaches life saving skills, with emphasis on decision making, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In the afternoon, members conduct a show-and-tell by displaying our Emergency Communications trailer and demonstrating our ham radio equipment. If an answering machine picks up the call, the emergency message will be left on the machine. The City of Moreno Valley encourages its citizens to do mitigation planning at every level - at home, in the workplace and in their communities. If mutual aid is required, the City of Moreno Valley will request it through the Riverside County Operational Area EOC.
Key components of the plan include hazard identification, asset inventory, risk analysis, loss estimation, and a mitigation strategy to reduce the effects of the hazards we have.

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