Are You in the Healthcare Field?

Find Out How We Can Help »
[et_social_follow icon_style="slide" icon_shape="rectangle" icons_location="top" col_number="1" outer_color="dark"]
Millions Recovered For Our Clients No Fees Unless We Win

New Jersey Employment Lawyers Discuss Discrimination Protection for Volunteers

February 9th, 2015

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from treating employees unfairly based on their gender, national origin, disability, race or color, or religious beliefs.  This law clearly protects employees who are hired and paid by a company or organization.  The question arises whether volunteers are also protected under Title VII and therefore cannot be discriminated against in the workplace.

Many non-profit organizations and public agencies would not be able to function without the services of their volunteers.  This raises the question, if volunteers are essential, are they protected under anti-discrimination laws? A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit drew the line between a volunteer and employee in a case involving two nuns and the American Red Cross. Under the court’s definition, the court’s ruling made it clear that volunteers are not protected under Title VII.

Sister Michael Maria vs. the American Red Cross was brought to court because the nuns felt they had been discriminated against due to their religious beliefs.  The court needed to decide if the nuns, although volunteers, were classified as employees of the agency and protected by laws against religious discrimination.

The court stated “employee” status requires a variety of factors.  Volunteers can qualify to be protected as employees if their work fulfills these requirements.  This case set the precedent for the definition of a volunteer.  A volunteer receives no salary, payment, health benefits, tax benefits or other financial benefits.  Moreover, a volunteer’s performance is not controlled by the company or organization in a way similar to the employee-employer relationship.

The court ruled that although the organization controlled the schedule and tasks for the nuns, the nuns had significant flexibility as to when they volunteered.  For this reason, the nuns were considered volunteers and not employees, and therefore were not protected from discrimination under Title VII.

If you have experienced race discrimination, religion discrimination, age discrimination or gender discrimination, you may have grounds to file a discrimination lawsuit to receive compensation for your unjust treatment.  The Philadelphia discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have the skill to successfully obtain compensation for workers who are victims of discriminatory practices.  Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to speak with one of our New Jersey employment lawyers.

EMPLOYMENT LAW PRACTICE AREAS
View All Practices
Sidney L. Gold SuperLawyer 16 years
Top Rated Lawyers Legal Leaders
ASLA 2019 badge
ATA Lifetime
BBB Rating
Best Lawyers Award Badge
Best Lawyers Award Badge
Institute Visionary Circle Badge
Best Employment lawyers in Philadelphia
2019 American Trail Lawyers badge
Lead Counsel Rated
life time achievement
million dollar advocates badge
AV Peer Review Rated
Philly Happening
Top one badge
Silver Client Champion Award 2020
super lawyers badge
Bar Register 2021
Bar Register 2021 Seal
Elite Lawyer Badge
NAOATTY 2021 Distinguished Member Badge
MH Preeminent
Sid Gold Judicial Edition 2022
Sid Gold 2022-Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
Sid Gold Client Champion 2022

As Seen On

avvo lawyers.com Martindale Justia FindLaw
© 2022 Sidney L. Gold and Associates, P.C. All rights reserved. [ Site Map | Privacy Policy ]

Attorney Advertising Materials. Sidney L. Gold is responsible for the content of this website. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Website Accessibility: Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually working to improve the accessibility of all content on our website and applying the relevant accessibility standards.

* The awards and accolades displayed on this website were issued to the attorneys, or the entire law firm by the respective providers of these honors. They are as follows, Avvo Inc., Super Lawyers®, Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated, ASLA Top 100 Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers, Bar Register Preeminent Lawyer, Happening List Winner, BBB Accredited Business, National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top 1 Percent, America's Top 100 Attorneys, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute for law and policy, Best Lawyers, Lead Counsel Rated, Top Employment Lawyers in Philadelphia, Association of American Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Martindale Hubbell Client Champion Silver. No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.