United States: Volunteers May Work For Nonprofits Without Compensation

The California Court of Appeal has definitively resolved an issue that was until now somewhat ambiguous: Can volunteers in fact volunteer their time for nonprofit organizations without receiving pay or other forms of compensation? The answer is YES. Woods v. American Film Institute, Case No. B307220 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2021) .

Laurie Woods worked for four days as a volunteer at the American Film Institute’s (“AFI”) annual Film Festival in Los Angeles. (AFI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating excellence and creating educational initiatives in film.)

After the Festival, Woods filed a putative class action against AFI […]

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By Donato