Volunteer Protection Act of 1997

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Definition - What does Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 mean?

The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 is a federal law that was passed during the Clinton administration. It protects individuals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies from liability for harm caused by volunteer work. This freedom from liability means that those in volunteer work will not have to pay for damages as they would if the harm were caused by non-volunteer work.

Insuranceopedia explains Volunteer Protection Act of 1997

To be considered a volunteer under the Volunteer Protection Act, an individual must not receive any money for the work in excess of $500 for the year. An employee of a non-profit organization or government office who draws a salary is, therefore, not eligible for protection under the Act. For this reason, organizations (both private and governmental) involved in volunteer work are advised to purchase liability insurance.

Volunteers are still accountable for the physical, mental, and economic harm they cause if the actions that brought it about is not part of their volunteer work, is reckless, or ill-intentioned.


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