Do you volunteer/ does your employer require you to do volunteer work?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MadMan118, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. MadMan118


    Jan 10, 2008
    Vallejo, CA
    I volunteer for a non profit that mentors at risk youth and helps them develop independent living skills (ie. finding work, housing etc.) as well as Habitat for Humanity. My company requires their managers to do a certain amount of volunteer work annually. I think its a good practice, its a humbling experience to take off the button up shirt in exchange for a soup kitchen apron so to speak. Do any else of you guys do any volunteer work on the side?
  2. I'm in the Navy, so while volunteer work is not exactly required, we often get told we have to do it (Voluntold). I enjoy volunteering when it's for a good cause like the food bank or soup kitchen, not so much for the Navy Day Ball.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I do volunteer work, but I wouldn't work for a company that forced me to. That has got to be illegal, to force someone to work for free as a condition of employment.
  4. paradog


    Dec 25, 2011
    Central NJ
    I am a teacher, the boss doesnt require it. I volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation, Special Olympics, and local food banks & animal rescue groups.
  5. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    We aren't required to donate; however, my employer has a deal with the United Way in our area, and I donate a portion of my paycheck every week. We also sponsor UW days at work, and I always make sure to help the guys out that come in.

    I also help out at a local animal shelter twice a month making sure the animals are in decent shape, fed, cleaned up, etc.
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Required volunteer work kinda breaks the idea doesn't it?
  7. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    Required ,,,,hell no.

    I know a guy who was taken into a meeting at work and everyone was told they would donate at least a certain % to UW or else....

    He quit ...
  8. I do, but I am not required to by my work. I volunteer about 10 hours a week to various things. My employer does encourage us to get involved in our community, but it isn't a requirement.

  9. Yeah, they can ask and encourage, but they cannot require you to do it or make it mandatory. That's definitely illegal.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    +1. If it's required by your job, you're not "volunteering." If they don't pay you for the extra time, they have a well-deserved lawsuit coming.

    I'm all in favor of volunteerism but this kind of behavior by employers, non-profit or for-profit, is just wrong.
  11. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    No, and no. I have neither the time nor the inclination.

    There are non-work-related things that I have to do for work outside of normal work hours, but I get paid for them.
  12. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    It's not required in the least by my employer, but they make it easier to do. There's a monthly trip to the food bank organized by a coworker. People volunteer to drive others there (we're in downtown Chicago, so over 95% of employees take a train or bus to the office) and are given free parking passes for that day.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make the food bank trip much lately due to my schedule.
  13. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    I can see with a salaried position, an employer could make this part of the job description. They pay you to work, and 1-5% of that work is done for Non-Profit/Charitable Organizations. It's a slippery slope indeed. Now if an hourly employee is forced to do this, without due compensation (even additional benefits, non hourly pay), I would say this is wrong and should be questioned.

    Salary-exempt employment is a strange animal sometimes.
  14. I struggle for spare time, particularly with my workload the way it is right now. However, I still try and vonlunteer whenever I can. I primarily take part in science based public outreach/public communication, this can be to schools, at universities, peoples places of work or various festivals. I've worked with a number of large organisations, from the Institute of Physics, STEMNet (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Network) and the British Science Association. Even did some work with the BBC during the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

    While I mostly enjoy working in the sciences, but being able to talk to the general public, particularly school kids, and see their eyes light up as you see them figuring out how things work, brilliant. Can't beat it. Breaks down the stigma of STEM subjects being boring :)

    (but no, not mandatory, nor should it be)
  15. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Like others here, my work contributes to the United Way and encourages us to do so as well, but doesn't force the issue.

    As for non-financial contributions, most of those are through music in the form of benefit shows.
  16. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I struggle with this one. I give of my time and money but not through my job. My company gives us all matching t-shirts if we go on fund raising walks and then makes sure it gets good PR for it. Lot's of "RAH, RAH, US, AREN'T WE GREAT" . I know it is for a good cause and it does do some good but I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't like a spotlight shining on me when I am doing things I feel like I am supposed to do anyway. I know my attitude may be off but I just can't get past it.
    I think the important thing is for each of us to try and make a difference somehow even if it seems like a small thing. Lots of small things add up to big things.
  17. blastoff99


    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA
    My former employer contributed to various charitable causes, and the employees knew what these causes were and were free to volunteer/contribute as they wished, or not. Together we would "adopt a family" with lots of kids at Christmas, and many of us would help with that.

    But forced volunteerism? No way.

    I do volunteer work on my own. Front of House at church once or twice a month keeps me plenty busy and is something I enjoy doing, do well, and that they need.
  18. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Photographer/Goalie Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Spring City, PA
    My employer does a ton with the United Way - in fact we're the biggest contributer in our area. They don't require us to do any volunteer work, but they actually give us a paid "volunteer" day. We get one day a year that doesn't count towards vacation or sick time to do volunteer work. A lot of teams will take theirs together so they can do something that will not only have a lot of impact, but also help with team building.
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, it wouldn't necessarily be a "law suit" in the traditional sense. It would be an investigation and action from the DOL. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that requiring hourly employees to "volunteer" would be in direct violation of the FLSA. Salaried employees, such as the management the OP described, may not have as strong of a case because it could be argued that they just acting within their job duties for which they recieve a salary.

    Again, this is just my guess and isn't a legal opinion. A quick way to find out, however, would be to call the Wage & Hour division of the DOL.
  20. At my son's request, he and I spend every other Saturday volunteering at a hangar that houses WWII planes, most of which are air-worthy. It is not an employer requirement.

    Manually pumping the gear down on a B25 beats the heck out of painting over graffiti...