Wheeling Jesuit University


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Phone: 1-304-243-8152

Employment: Volunteers

SECTION: HR - Employee NEXT REVIEW DATE: July 2017
APPROVED: March 2014 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: July 2016

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As a non-profit, Catholic, Jesuit, institution, Wheeling Jesuit University welcomes the participation of volunteers to assist with the University mission in academics, athletics, and student activities. This policy establishes uniform guidelines for screening and engaging volunteer services while protecting the volunteer’s interests and simultaneously minimizing risk to the University.


2.1 Policy Statement

2.1.1 The University will not use volunteers to perform or displace work presently being performed by University employees or that has been performed by University employees in the past.

2.1.2 Per IRS guidelines, volunteers are not considered employees and are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or West Virginia regulations. They are ineligible for University-sponsored benefits, including workers compensation.

2.1.3 The University may utilize or curtail volunteers at its discretion.

2.1.4 This policy does not cover volunteers in businesses or services indirectly related to the business of the University or volunteers who serve as human subjects in University research programs.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 "Volunteer" - A volunteer is an individual who performs hours of service for religious, charitable or similar non-profit organizations without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation, future employment, or other tangible benefits.

2.3 Procedures

2.3.1 University departments are responsible for screening, engaging, or terminating a volunteer and ensuring that the volunteer has the requisite skills, experience, or qualifications to perform the tasks for which he / she is being engaged.

2.3.2 All University volunteers must abide by all University policies in place at the University during the times in which they are engaged in the performance of their services.

2.3.3 University volunteers:

  • Must be over 14 years of age.
  • Cannot be employees volunteering in any capacity similar to the one for which they are being paid by the University.
  • Cannot be undergraduate students [exception: does not include undergraduate / graduate students who volunteer to participate in University-sponsored activities specifically designed for student enrichment, to compliment the student experience, or to represent the University as a volunteer on external activities that benefit the community or the citizenry.]
  • Must be a citizen, or provide proof of identity and citizenship or permanent residency, or demonstrate eligibility to work in the United States.

2.3.4 All University volunteers must sign a University volunteer agreement, complete a University background screen, and abide by all the terms of this and all other University Policies. No person can volunteer and be on site absent a signed agreement.

2.3.5 University volunteers must have a detailed outline of services for which they are being engaged.

2.3.6 Payment or compensation for volunteer services is not permitted under any circumstance. The department may recommend, however, a stipend or honorarium for the volunteer to reimburse the volunteer for actual and reasonable expenses incurred and in appreciation of the service being rendered. Stipends and honoraria must not be used as a substitute for compensation and cannot be linked to outcomes. Stipends and honoraria are limited to 20% of the wages or salary paid to a similarly situated University employee and any amount in excess of $600 is subject to taxes.

2.3.7 Human Resources will store all volunteer agreements and backup documentation.

2.3.8 The University or the volunteer may end the volunteer services at any time, for any reason, with or without advance notice.

2.4 Volunteer and Non-Volunteer Services.

2.4.1 The following DO NOT require a volunteer agreement:

  • Visiting committee or lecturers
  • Single day, campus, event volunteers
  • External trainers for single day events
  • Public speakers / phone-a-thon
  • Reunion / alumni volunteers
  • Auditors

2.4.2 The following DO require a volunteer agreement:

  • Lab / library activities
  • Professional services (administrative or athletic)
  • Travel with / in support of students
  • Activities requiring access to protected information
  • Activities involving students or minors without an employee present

2.4.3 The following are PROHBITED for a volunteer:

  • Operating heavy or dangerous equipment
  • Operating equipment that requires a specific license
  • Working with hazardous material
  • Entering into University contracts
  • Activities deemed inappropriate for employees
  • Working with stored/ potential energy


The Director of Human Resources may change or modify this policy at any time, with or without notice, pending final approval of the Chief Financial Officer and the President of the University or designee.




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