Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia

State Government Volunteers Act

§ 2.2-3600. Short title; declaration of legislative intent

A. This chapter may be cited as the Virginia State Government Volunteers Act.

B. Since the spirit of volunteerism has long animated generations of Americans to give of their time and abilities to help others, the Commonwealth would be wise to make use of volunteers in state service wherever practically possible. Effective use of volunteers in state service, however, requires that state agencies be provided guidelines for the development of volunteer programs and the utilization of volunteers. The General Assembly intends by this chapter to assure that people of Virginia may derive optimal benefit from volunteers, and that the time and talents of volunteers in state service may be put to their best use.

1977, c. 347, § 2.1-554; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3601. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Department" includes all departments established in the executive branch of state government and local agencies under the jurisdiction or supervision thereof, and for the purposes of §§ 2.2-3602, 2.2-3604 and 2.2-3605, shall include political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

"Material donor" means any person who, without financial gain, provides funds, materials, employment, or opportunities for clients of agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions of the Commonwealth;

"Occasional-service volunteer" means any person who provides a one-time or occasional voluntary service;

"Regular-service volunteer" means any person engaged in specific voluntary service activities on an ongoing or continuous basis;

"Volunteer" means any person who, of his own free will, provides goods or services, without any financial gain, to any agency, instrumentality or political subdivision of the Commonwealth;

"Volunteer in state and local services" shall include, but shall not be limited to, any person who serves in a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit or on a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) while engaged in emergency services and preparedness activities as defined in § 44-146.16.

1977, c. 347, § 2.1-555; 1979, c. 131; 2001, c. 844; 2005, c. 474.

§ 2.2-3602. Scope of chapter; status of volunteers; reimbursements

A. Every department, through its executive head, may develop volunteer programs and accept the services of volunteers, including regular-service volunteers, occasional-service volunteers, or material donors, to assist in programs carried out or administered by that department.

B. Volunteers recruited, trained, or accepted by any department shall, to the extent of their voluntary service, be exempt from all provisions of law relating to state employment, hours of work, rate of compensation, leave time, and employee benefits except those enumerated in or consistent with § 2.2-3605. Volunteers shall, however, at all times comply with applicable work rules.

C. Every department utilizing the services of volunteers may provide volunteers with such incidental reimbursements as are consistent with the provisions of § 2.2-3605, including transportation costs, lodging, and subsistence, as the department deems appropriate to assist volunteers in performing their duties.

D. For the purposes of this chapter, individuals involved in emergency services and preparedness activities pursuant to the definition of "emergency services" in § 44-146.16 shall be considered volunteers in state and local services and shall be accordingly entitled to the benefits conferred in this chapter. As volunteers in state and local services, such individuals shall be deemed to be regular-service volunteers.

1977, c. 347, § 2.1-556; 2001, c. 844; 2005, c. 474.

§ 2.2-3603. Responsibilities of departments

Each department utilizing the services of volunteers shall:

1. Take actions necessary and appropriate to develop meaningful opportunities for volunteers involved in its programs and to improve public services;

2. Develop written rules governing the recruitment, screening, training, responsibility, utilization and supervision of volunteers;

3. Take actions necessary to ensure that volunteers and paid staff understand their respective duties and responsibilities, their relationship to each other, and their respective roles in fulfilling the objectives of their department;

4. Take actions necessary and appropriate to ensure a receptive climate for citizen volunteers;

5. Provide for the recognition of volunteers who have offered exceptional service to the Commonwealth; and

6. Recognize prior volunteer service as partial fulfillment of state employment requirements for training and experience established by the Department of Human Resource Management.

1977, c. 347, § 2.1-557; 1979, c. 107; 1991, c. 563; 2000, cc. 66, 657; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3604. Solicitation of aid from community

Each department may, through the officer, agent, or employee primarily responsible for the utilization of volunteers in that department, solicit volunteers and voluntary assistance for that department from the community.

1978, c. 121, § 2.1-557.1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3605. Volunteer benefits

A. Meals may be furnished without charge to regular-service volunteers if scheduled work assignments extend over an established meal period. Meals may be furnished without charge to occasional-service volunteers at the discretion of the department's executive head.

B. Lodging, if available, may be furnished temporarily, at no charge, to regular-service volunteers.

C. Transportation reimbursement may be furnished those volunteers whose presence is determined to be necessary to the department. Rates or amounts of such reimbursement shall not exceed those provided in § 2.2-2823. Volunteers may utilize state vehicles in the performance of their duties, subject to those regulations governing use of state vehicles by paid staff.

D. Liability insurance may be provided by the department utilizing their services both to regular-service and occasional-service volunteers to the same extent as may be provided by the department to its paid staff. Volunteers in state and local service, including, but not limited to, any person who serves in a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit or on a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), shall enjoy the protection of the Commonwealth's sovereign immunity to the same extent as paid staff.

1977, c. 347, § 2.1-558; 1979, c. 131; 2001, c. 844; 2005, c. 474.