Risk Management and Volunteerism


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Presentation by Johanna Duffek at the 2010 Arizona Summit on Volunteerism and Service-Learning
Risk Management by definition is an all inclusive concept of protecting and improving the quality of a volunteers experience. We will discuss how risk management and Title VII can work together to protect you, your organization and your volunteers from unnecessary harm, or potential harm. By discussing the areas of the law that specifically deal with protection - OSHA, HIPPA, and Title VII, we will in fact be all inclusive.

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  • Many of you may feel that risk management involves safety. While that is true and we’re going to discuss this first, it involves all these other areas too. Why are we discussing these areas. Because if these areas are not addressed by policy or procedure in your organization you leave your organization open to risk, and not just from safety factors. We live in a litigious society and being a non-profit, or a community organization is not in itself protection anymore. Saying, “I didn’t know,” has never been a proper excuse.
  • It should be mentioned that anything we say here today is not legal advice. Our focus here is due diligence. We do what we can do. If this is a situation we cannot solve today, we will look into it for you and get back to you.
  • This is an official definition of risk management from the Web. It’s a good starting point for what we will discuss today. In terms of this discussion let’s establish that volunteer is not a job description. It is a pay grade only. This is very important to realize because many of the things we will be discussing will sound very familiar to the profession of human resources. They are. And human resources relates to volunteers as well. Never heard that before. That’s because volunteers were thought of as phone answerers and envelope stuffers. We’re here to expand that definition. And with that expansion comes responsibility to both your volunteers, your agencies, your constituents, and your donors.
  • Having written policy and procedures is the first step for you doing your “due diligence” This may seem like a lot of work, but actually it makes your life much easier. It gives you a standard by which to operate by. The thing you must always remember is that all policies and procedures must be work related. You’ll hear this a lot as we go along today, especially when we discuss real world examples. For instance if you have a volunteer answering phones for you, do you have a dress code you would like the receptionist/operator to comply with? If so, why? Do you get a lot of walk-ins? Would they be receiving high end donors that may object a certain way of dress? Or do you, or the ED just prefer someone in a dress? If it’s the last one, sorry, that’s not a work related issue and the dress code could be more lenient.
  • Almost all agencies have some sort of insurance. If yours does not, you better find out why. There are different types of insurance. There is liability insurance, property insurance, a lot of agencies carry insurance for their Board of Directors. None of this is a secret and you should know about it, especially if you work with volunteers. If you don’t know about insurance, if you find it complicated have it explained to you. Liability insurance covers you in the case of a lawsuit that may be brought against the agency by a third party. For example: a volunteer discloses confidential information. The volunteer is immune from prosecution if it was done without malicious intent. This is the responsibility of the agency to train volunteers properly. If you did all this, you can still be sued, but this shows you have done your due diligence.
  • While that is certainly true, the profession of volunteer management has got to come out of the dark ages. We have to establish ourselves as a professional profession. For many years HR executives were not part of the strategic planning team of an organization. However, something we can learn from them. They have established themselves as a profession and now it’s our turn to do the same. Have a handout about the marriage of HR with Volunteer Mgt. This requires a lot of work by the Volunteer Manager, but with the right tools, we can help make the job easier.
  • Can you answer any of these questions. Do you know what the Material Safety Data Sheet is? Have you reviewed this information with your volunteers. Do you have a volunteer orientation that explains the expectations that the agency has for its volunteers? For example: Each agency will have to look at the specifics of the work they do. Do you work with walk-ins, or is most of your work research for example. If you work with confidential information you will have to develop specific procedures for your work
  • When I worked at Habitat for Humanity Tucson we had a death at an event. Here was our due diligence. Liability waiver, doctor, water, shifts available,
  • Let’s discuss recruitment: can I put in my job description only men need apply? What is the job related reason for doing this? Does this violate Title VII? This does not mean you can’t put in specific issues with the job, such as lifting a certain amount of weight, but it better be job related.
  • This is a very touchy subject and because of that there is a lot of confusion about what exactly is sexual harassment. Here’s my real world example. I was leaving work and was going to meet friends so I changed out of my work clothes and into shorts before I left. As I walked out one of my co-workers and my supervisor saw me and I stopped. My co-worker said he liked my shorts and they looked good on me. I said “thank you.” My supervisor says, “you have nice legs.” My colleague says isn’t that sexual harassment and I said it could be. My supervisor thought he was being complementary. I said, no, my co-worker was complementary because he said he liked the shorts. You were commenting on my body. Do I have a case? No, because a couple of things need to be present. One incident is not a trend. I need to express my feeling uncomfortable with his comment, and then it has to continue.
  • If no one pipes up I will tell Jenny’s story. Why is this important? Because if you allow discrimination or harassment of your volunteers you are open to lawsuits. Just because they are not employees does not mean that cannot be discriminated against. I know this seems like big stuff, well, because it is. If you have a policy and procedure handbook, this is the place where it comes in handy.
  • I did not get this off of a legal web site, but I thought the information was clear in the language so I used it. You’ll notice this is not specifically about sexual harassment. Although that could be part of a hostile work environment, this definition includes more. Please note, that it is not necessarily overt. Screaming is not necessary, but it is a situation that causes extreme stress. You can insert volunteer where ever it says employee.
  • Talk about Diane and the he/she controversy? Example: co-worker writes a letter to a co-worker about unwanted attention. But it’s not true, how do we handle this? Mediation, ask questions, get help from other volunteers, board members who have specific skills. 99.9% of the time don’t take this personally, its about how others are perceiving the harassing situation.
  • You’ll notice I highlighted the part about making a striking a reasonable balance. Here is reasonable. You have a volunteer who uses a wheelchair and you have steps up to the building and you have a $500K a year budget. Not a lot to work with. But the backdoor is wheelchair accessible, however, stuff needs to be cleared away to allow the chair to enter smoothly. A reasonable accommodation would be to make the back door accessible to him. Or if you have a volunteer or a donor who could make you a ramp. These are reasonable. One point about drug/alcohol policies. If someone is in the process of being treated for an addiction, they are covered by ADA.
  • Lady in a wheelchair who wanted to volunteer at habitat for humanity.
  • Handouts available. Example: volunteer at a hospice or a mental health organization. Volunteer manager needs to train the volunteer about how to deal with the confidential information. HIPAA applies to everyone, and can open up a lawsuit if this is violated. Training, training, training is very important.
  • Don’t let legal jargon complicate the matter so you don’t want to learn more about this. We have tried to present you with summary and reviews of the law to expose you to the issues.
  • Clearly, all of these things would be tailored to your agencies specific mission and issues.
  • We have handouts about how to design a Job Description. Use the bold areas to fill in according to your agency. This sets the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. A job description keeps things clear. And clearly, they can always be updated as the need arises. Listen to the volunteer who wants to edit their job description.
  • For instance the last two places I have worked, some employees liked to bring in their dogs and cats sometimes to the office. I have added a pet policy to our handbook.
  • This is a good place to review the job description, review what is required by the department they would be working in. Again, this is the opportunity to manage the expectations of the volunteer and the requirements of the job to the agency. I know some of this sounds like a lot of work, but this will ensure that the right person gets into a position and hopefully they will stay in the position longer and be more productive for the team. Which means less work for you, the volunteer manager, in always finding people.
  • This can be a group activity or individual. Do you have a job application procedure
  • Risk Management and Volunteerism

    1. 1. Risk Management and Volunteerism AZ Summit on Volunteerism and Service Learning
    2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Johanna Duffek </li></ul><ul><ul><li>International Dark-Sky Association </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past President, Southern Arizona Volunteer Management Association (SAVMA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jean Curtis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Coordinator, Old Pueblo Community Services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Board Member, SAVMA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attorney at Law (California) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Define risk management </li></ul><ul><li>Safety Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Title VII </li></ul><ul><li>HIPAA </li></ul><ul><li>ADA </li></ul><ul><li>Job Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Employee/Volunteer Handbook </li></ul>
    4. 4. Real world examples welcome <ul><li>If at any time during this presentation you have an example you need assistance with, we will be happy to help address it as best we can. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Define Risk Management <ul><li>A process to identify, assess, manage, and control potential events or situations, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the organization's objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1W1ADBF_en&q=define%3A+Risk+Management+&aq=0&aqi=l1g2g-m1&aql=&oq=definition%3A+risk+man&gs_rfai= </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. What are some elements of Risk Management? <ul><li>Liability insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing and recruitment procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Written procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Agency policies </li></ul><ul><li>Orientations </li></ul><ul><li>Termination procedures </li></ul>
    7. 7. Insurance <ul><li>Do you know what liability insurance is? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you know what it covers at your office? </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone who is associated with your agency is protected by the insurance. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Volunteers are a part of your Team! <ul><li>Most of what we are talking about today, many people feel only applies to paid employees. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Safety checklist <ul><li>Do you know the location of your agency’s MSDS log book? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you know what your liability insurance covers? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the fire extinguishers and exits, etc.? </li></ul><ul><li>Basically, what are your organizations safety policies? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a volunteer orientation to review the safety procedures of your organization? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Real World Examples <ul><li>Here’s one of mine </li></ul><ul><li>Do any of you have one to share? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Title VII <ul><li>Yes, volunteers, constituents, and donors are all covered by Title VII when they are a part of your organization. </li></ul><ul><li>We have handouts for what Title VII covers. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Summary of the Act <ul><li>For a complete listing of the Act got to: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm </li></ul><ul><li>Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and required by 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq., prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion. It also is unlawful under the Act for an employer to take retaliatory action against any individual for opposing employment practices made unlawful by Title VII or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under Title VII. </li></ul><ul><li>In its effort to fulfill the intent and purpose of Title VII, the Office of Equal Opportunity seeks to be proactive by providing direction and guidance throughout SHA on the fair and consistent treatment of ALL employees regarding all aspects of employment decisions covering a variety of areas which include, but are not limited, to the following; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Development/Advancement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance Appraisals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reclassifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tuition Aid/Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disciplinary Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment Benefits & Privileges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compensation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Sexual harassment <ul><li>What is sexual harassment? </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, in the United States, that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual harassment occurs when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to another employee, against his or her wishes. http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossarys/a/sexualharassdef.htm </li></ul>
    14. 14. Discussion <ul><li>Any real world examples that we need to discuss? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Hostile work environment <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>A hostile work environment is primarily a legal term used to describe a workplace situation where an employee cannot reasonably perform his work, due to certain behaviors by management or co-workers that are deemed hostile. Hostility in this form is not only a boss being rude, yelling, or annoying. It is very specific, especially in the legal setting when one is suing an employer for either wrongful termination or for creating an environment that causes severe stress to the employee. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-hostile-work-environment.htm </li></ul>
    16. 16. Examples of Hostile Work Environment <ul><li>Here’s one of mine. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have any to share? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Americans with Disabilities Act <ul><li>The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed July 26, 1990 as Public Law 101-336 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq ) and became effective on January 26, 1992. The ADA is landmark federal legislation that opens up services and employment opportunities to the 43 million Americans with disabilities. The law was written to strike a balance between the reasonable accommodation of citizens' needs and the capacity of private and public entities to respond. It is not an affirmative action law but is intended to eliminate illegal discrimination and level the playing field for disabled individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>The law is comprised of five titles that prohibit discrimination against disabled persons within the United States. Titles I and II are the primary sections that affect local governments. http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/legal/ada/adainfo.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>There are handouts summarizing the Act. http://askjan.org/links/adasummary.htm </li></ul>
    18. 18. Examples of ADA situations? <ul><li>Here’s one of mine </li></ul><ul><li>Any further examples or questions. </li></ul>
    19. 19. HIPAA <ul><li>Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.  </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/ </li></ul>
    20. 20. Due Diligence <ul><li>Will doing everything here today prevent a lawsuit? NO! </li></ul><ul><li>But it does show you took the precautions necessary for those perceived risks within your organization. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words – “you do what you can do.” </li></ul>
    21. 21. What should you do? <ul><li>Job Descriptions? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have an employee/volunteer handbook? </li></ul><ul><li>Liability waiver? </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality waiver? </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation program? </li></ul><ul><li>When was the last time they we updated? </li></ul><ul><li>If not, go home and make one! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Job descriptions <ul><li>This is the number one thing you can do to begin your risk mgt. folder. </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does anyone know what they are supposed to do without one? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sample job descriptions </li></ul>
    23. 23. Employee/volunteer handbook <ul><li>Here is the one at our office. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at what is unique to your office or agency mission. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Application Process <ul><li>Do you require an application process? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you require a background check? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you interview volunteer candidates? </li></ul>
    25. 25. Orientation <ul><li>Manage the expectations of your volunteers. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the perfect time to explain the policies and procedures of your organization. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Thank you <ul><li>Questions are welcome now! </li></ul>