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Volunteer Policy

Volunteer Policy

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on
Approved By: President Karnig on
Reviewed By: Administrative Council on
Approved By: President Tomás D. Morales on

For interpretation of this policy, Please Contact: Vice President of Human Resources, 909/537-5138.

Volunteers are those persons who provide services to the University without financial gain, have had a long-standing relationship with the University. Volunteers provide services in a number of areas throughout the University on a regular basis.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a definition and a procedure for volunteers to be identified and recorded with the University.

Section 553.101 of Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations defines a volunteer as "an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered…during such hours". In addition, an individual shall be considered a volunteer only where his/her services are offered freely and without pressure or coercion, direct or implied, from an employer.

A volunteer is an individual who performs work or provides services without compensation for a semester, academic year, calendar year, session, or any part thereof. Volunteers may perform a variety of functions in support of campus activities. Examples of volunteer work include, but are not limited to:

  • volunteers who teach or assist in teaching.
  • volunteers who assist with registration.
  • volunteers working in the Health Center or Learning Center.
  • students who volunteer to assist with campus ongoing activities.
  • volunteers who drive vehicles on official university business such as field trips or athletic events.
  • volunteers who perform general office work; and
  • volunteers who assist at campus events.

The use of volunteers is at the sole discretion of the department for which the volunteer is providing services. Volunteer services may end with or without prior notice at any time the department, in its sole opinion, determines that the services are no longer needed by the department. No length of performance of volunteer services for a specific department or for the CSUSB shall create any entitlement, right or privilege on the part of any individual to continue providing prospective volunteer services for the CSUSB. Alternatively, CSU volunteers may discontinue providing their services at any time.


Status as Volunteers

Volunteers are not employees of the CSUSB (this includes current CSU employees when they are performing volunteer duties, as discussed below), and are therefore not eligible for or entitled to compensation for services, sick leave, vacation accrual, retirement, and/or insurance benefits for their hours of volunteer service. These CSUSB volunteers do not need to sign the California loyalty oath. CSU volunteers (including CSU employees who volunteer) are eligible for Workers' Compensation and state liability coverage, but the university does not provide Workers' Compensation coverage to student volunteers participating in university-sponsored service programs.

A volunteer who renders services of his/her own free will, without remuneration of any kind, does not need to complete an I-9. If a person receives any kind of compensation from a campus for services, a Form I-9 needs to be completed and the person needs to be appointed as an employee.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has very rigid interpretations of what activities constitute employment. Volunteering for a position which normally provides compensation is considered employment and is, therefore, not permitted without appropriate work authorization.

 CSUSB Employees Who Volunteer

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that, if a public sector employee (including a CSU employee) is otherwise employed by the agency to perform the same type of services as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer, the employee shall not be considered a volunteer. As such, a CSUSB employee may not volunteer to take on additional duties related to their primary job for which he/she could be paid. The term "same type of services" shall be defined as any duty or responsibility that is closely related to the duties performed by or responsibilities assigned to the compensated CSU employee.

  Service-Learning Students

CSU students who provide service in connection with an academic course or program may be a type of CSU volunteer in certain circumstances. The community agency for which the student is providing services, and the university should develop an agreement that articulates the community agencies agreed upon responsibilities for Workers' Compensation and liability coverage prior to the students' placements.

Discrimination and Harassment

Volunteers are included as third parties under CSU's policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment set forth in CSU Nondiscrimination Policy.


Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers must have the necessary training and/or supervision to safely carry out the volunteer work and, depending on the particular function performed, must meet the appropriate license requirements, including defensive driver training and a good driving record. All training must be completed prior to beginning a volunteer assignment.

An individual who volunteers services in a field which requires a license or certificate must satisfy that requirement prior to performing those duties. For example, a medical doctor volunteering services must have a current license to practice medicine before volunteering.

All policies of the University shall apply to volunteers.

Personal identification, fingerprinting (Live Scan), California Megan’s Law Search and/or background checks will continue to be required, as determined appropriate. A CSUSB volunteer may be authorized to drive a vehicle on official state business, in accordance with university policies and procedures, as determined to be appropriate in relation to the CSUSB volunteer's duties and responsibilities.

Access to University Resources

Departments may provide provisional services (e.g., email, phone) to CSUSB volunteers for the purposes and duration of the volunteer assignment. All CSUSB volunteers are prohibited from inferring or projecting an appearance that they are representing or otherwise making statements on behalf of the CSUSB unless appropriately authorized to do so. Upon completion of their volunteer service, CSUSB volunteers' access to provisional services must be terminated (except where otherwise permitted by policy, such as the provision of email to emeritus faculty).

CSUSB volunteers may not:

  • Be granted access to or authority over CSUSB financial accounts or funds; and
  • Be granted access to confidential information, unless specifically authorized.

Reimbursement of Expenses

CSUSB policy does not allow for a nominal fee paid to CSUSB volunteers for services rendered. Although CSUSB volunteers are not eligible for nominal fees, they are eligible for reimbursement expenses, such as travel expenses and allowances for official State business in accordance with university procedures. Under Section 553.106 of the Code of Federal Regulations, volunteers may be reimbursed for expenses (this may include reimbursement for tuition or other materials essential to their volunteer training, transportation, and meal costs) for their service without losing their status as volunteers.

Other Restrictions

It is not the intent of the CSUSB that volunteers replace or supplant the work performed by CSUSB employees (represented or non-represented). As such, CSUSB volunteers may not be used in full-time, long-term assignments. Volunteer assignments are generally expected to be sporadic or of limited duration (e.g., assistance with special events or volunteering on a part-time basis over the course of a term)1.

Volunteer Identification Form and Process

CSUSB volunteers and CSUSB supervisors are required to sign and date a CSUSB Volunteer Identification Form. The Volunteer Identification form must be approved by Human Resources.  Volunteer assignments are approved for a maximum of a 1-year appointment and can be terminated by CSUSB or the volunteer at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. The Volunteer Identification Form contains the following information and must be on file in the Human Resources Division before a volunteer can begin their assignment:

  • Name, address, telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Emergency contact information
  • Assignment, duties, department, supervisor
  • Confirmation of required training
  • Confirmation of license or certificate, if required

Once a volunteer is approved to volunteer, they will receive written notification from the Human Resources Division. 

Background Checks

Personal identification, fingerprinting, and/or background checks continue to be required as the campus president or chancellor determines appropriate. Background checks are required for volunteers who perform services involving minor children or who perform duties that would regularly require a background check if performed by CSUSB employees. Sensitive positions are those designated by the CSUSB as requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position, based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to the CSUSB or individuals in the university community.

The volunteer is required to pass the background check prior to performing services Pursuant to CSU Background Check, the results of a criminal records check may subject a current employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination under certain circumstances.