Volunteers & High School Mentoring Program


Washington and Lee University adheres to the Department of Labor guidelines (Fact Sheet #14A) for volunteers with a focus on not displacing paid work with volunteer service.

Who is a volunteer?

Individuals, age 16 and older, may volunteer their time to religious, charitable, civic, humanitarian, or similar areas as a public service. Typically, volunteers serve on a part-time basis and do not perform work that would normally be performed by regular employees including student employees. Someone may also serve as a volunteer if volunteer service is required for a for-credit program. On W&L's campus we might see volunteers serve as a Campus Minister for Religious Life as no such paid position exists. In addition, we often see volunteers assist an Athletic team, but volunteers cannot serve as Game Day Workers.

Who is not a volunteer?

Very few departments on campus have activities that would qualify as volunteer opportunities. As stated previously, volunteers do not perform work that is the same or similar to that of a paid regular or student employee.

  • Volunteers cannot perform research that benefits the institution as these duties represent paid employment. Someone doing research for their own benefit is neither a volunteer nor an employee.
  • Volunteers may not assist with administrative duties or projects as these duties represent paid employment.
  • W&L students performing leadership acts such as participating in a service, committee or performance are neither a volunteer nor an employee. These acts are considered an honor.
  • Employees of W&L cannot volunteer to provide the same type of services that they are employed to provide.

High School Mentoring Programs

The two local high schools offer courses whereby students are matched with employers in the area for paid or unpaid experience. Most of these experiences will result in W&L employment, particularly if service is normally performed by paid employees. If deemed to be employment, the high school students must complete paperwork in HR.

If you believe you have one of the above situations please reach out to Sarah Bowers x8579. If the situation is deemed to meet one of the above criteria, you will be asked to share the name and contact information of the individual and dates of volunteer service.

If the situation is not deemed to be a volunteer or mentorship experience the department may employ the individual if there are available funds. For individuals over the age of 18, offers of employment are contingent on a satisfactory background check and legal authorization to work for W&L in the United States. Please refer to the Employee Handbook and to the University Code of Policies. If you move forward with employing the individual, you will process their information through a Workday process called Direct Hire. Use the Direct Hire Job Aid for further instructions. Be prepared to enter the name and contact information of the individual, dates of service, title and account the individual will be paid from.

Source: Fact Sheet #14A: Non-Profit Organizations and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)