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Volunteer Information

Volunteers provide an invaluable service to the NSHE/CSN; therefore, we need to ensure that our volunteers are protected in case they sustain injuries while performing these services for a university or college.

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to provide Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institutions with a guideline that will allow them to properly select volunteers, obtain needed information from volunteers, and ensure that volunteers have workers' compensation and general liability coverage.

Who Is Considered a Volunteer?

A volunteer is any individual who performs a service for and directly related to the business of the NSHE, without the expectation of monetary or material compensation.

There are different types of volunteers:

  • Category A - a person who performs a volunteer assignment for three days or less
  • Category B - a person who performs a volunteer assignment for more than three days or on a recurring basis
  • A non-paid board member
  • Community service workers (court-assigned individuals)

Volunteers are expected to abide by university/college policies and regulations that govern their actions, including but not limited to those of ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, and drug and alcohol use.

The department head must select volunteers who meet the minimum qualifications to perform the desired tasks. Volunteers may not replace classified employees who have been laid off.

A volunteer may not perform any work until he/she has signed the volunteer agreement form detailing the nature of the work to be performed and the relationship of the volunteer to the university or college.

Volunteers are not considered employees for any purpose other than workers' compensation and general liability protection. Therefore, they are not eligible for retirement and health benefits, other than workers' compensation, as a result of their volunteer status.

Volunteers serve at the pleasure of the institution. Accordingly, a volunteer assignment can be terminated at the discretion of the institution without notice or cause.

Volunteer Screening

As part of the screening process, a prospective volunteer should be asked to demonstrate that he is lawfully able to work in the United States. If he cannot demonstrate this, then he cannot be considered for volunteer service.

Each department can establish their own screening process that best meets their needs. It is strongly recommended that each department develop a description of the volunteer assignment prior to the screening process. This will assist in determining the experience, qualifications, and training needed to fill that assignment.

Volunteer Training

Each department will be responsible for training their volunteers. If volunteers will be working with machines and/or equipment, they must be provided with the proper protective gear. Training must be completed successfully before the volunteer may begin the assignment. If the volunteer will be working with machines and/or equipment, they must be supervised by a trained staff member or experienced volunteer.


A person under the age of eighteen may only become a volunteer with parental consent, with Human Resources approval, and after obtaining a work permit. Minors are not allowed to work with any type of machinery and/or equipment under any condition.

Employee Performing Volunteer Service

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a non-exempt employee cannot be both a paid employee and non-paid volunteer while performing the same type of work for the same employer. For example, an Administrative Assistant in the History Department cannot be considered a volunteer if their volunteer assignment requires them to perform Administrative Assistant duties in the Sociology Department. Although the definition of a non-exempt employee is complex, any hourly employee who is entitled to overtime, such as a classified employee, is generally considered to be non-exempt.

Process for Engaging Volunteers

1. Develop a description of the volunteer assignment
2. Determine the experience, qualification, and training needed
3. Recruit volunteers
4. Perform appropriate screening of prospective volunteers
5. Upon acceptance of a volunteer, complete the following:

  • Explain the manner and method by which the volunteer will be expected to perform their assignment
  • Ensure that the volunteer is physically able to perform these duties
  • Explain all policies and procedures that apply to the volunteer
  • Provide any assignment specific training that is deemed necessary
  • Record the volunteer's name and social security number and obtain emergency contact information. Emergency contact information can be obtained by having the volunteer complete a volunteer job description, volunteer agreement, and if under the age of 18 a parent/guardian release form, approval obtained from the CSN Division of Human Resources, and work permit. This information must be submitted prior to the volunteer performing their assignment.
  • Provide the volunteer with a copy of the NSHE Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure and have the volunteer complete the Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Acknowledgement form. Return the signed acknowledgment form to the CSN Division of Human Resources.

Human Resources information contained on the World Wide Web is in no way to be interpreted as a contract between the College of Southern Nevada and any of its employees. This information is provided as a service to the CSN community and will change as CSN changes. From time to time, CSN must modify its policies. Information is current as of the time of its presentation and may be subject to change or repeal at any time, with or without notice, at the discretion of CSN.