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Volunteers & Unpaid Workers

NDP's "Intern Protection Act" debated for first time in Parliament

The federal New Democrat Party (NDP) issued the following press release on February 17, 2015 concerning the Intern Protection Act, which is a private member's bill tabled by NDP MP, Laurin Liu:

NDP will protect interns
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"Are Unpaid Internships Legal in Ontario?"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has posted a policy document on its website, titled "Are Unpaid Internships Legal in Ontario? (June 2011)". The policy document reads as follows:

The Ministry of Labour is committed to ensuring fairness and protecting young workers. The fact that you are called an "intern" does not determine whether or not you are entitled to the protections of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), including the minimum wage.  read more »

The legal implications of engaging volunteers

Here are the three best resources I have found on the web that address the legal issues organizations in Canada should be aware of when engaging volunteers:

  1. "Volunteers and The Law" (April 2007), prepared by David Stout and Loreen Irvine, lawyers at Nelligan O'Brien Payne in Ottawa;
  2. "Volunteers & the law: A guide for volunteers, organizations and boards" (2000), prepared the People's Law School; and
  3. "Volunteers" Employment Standards fact sheet, Government of Manitoba.

Volunteer relationship with Rape Relief Society captured by definition of "employment" in BC Human Rights Code

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society, 2002 BCHRT 1

(Postscript: this decision was reversed on other grounds, Vancouver Rape Relief Society v. Nixon, 2003 BCSC 1936; upheld at 2005 BCCA 601),