Will Work for Beer: Volunteering in the Brewing Industry Offers Advantages Along With Risks

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Nov 3, 2017.

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  1. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (249) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I willingly traveled to and worked a bottle waxing event- I was "paid" in pizza and beer. I was happy with the compensation. Questions about liability and safety are certainly valid, but I don't see how any other concern would be.
     
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    My response to that question is, " I'm retired, I don't do a damn thing and don't do that before lunch".
     
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  3. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    This link should help you guys.

    https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/docs/volunteers.asp
     
  4. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    This link is a good example of why we should not go to the internet seeking legal advise. The article cites a Supreme Court decision that offers guidelines implementing the Act and Agencies following this instruction consider non profit organizations engaging in "public service, religious or humanitarian objectives" as examples of volunteerism outside the purview of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Those not legally trained read the words "non profit" as saying you cannot volunteer to donate your time and effort to a for profit business which is a misinterpretation. A careful reading of the Court's words show that distinctions are being drawn between categories of volunteer work and someone who "might work for their own advantage on the premises of another" may certainly fall under FLSA as well as other State and Federal employment laws.

    It seems to me those who volunteer to work (and work is the operative word here) for a brewery in the hopes it might eventually turn into a job or experience there might lead to another job are not volunteers at all, rather they are job seekers there for personal gain. Call them apprentices, interns, paying their dues or whatever, I believe they are entitled to full legal protection.

    On the other hand (all lawyers can bat left or right handed) if one of the husband-wife team that recently opened a small brewery gets sick and can't attend the Saturday afternoon tasting I might go down to help out by pulling tabs for a few hours. This in no way makes me an employee so long as I get nothing in return, even a free lunch. Actually, by donating my time and energy while traveling at my own expense I'm not a volunteer either, I am in fact a financial donor to their business.
     
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  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    So, your professional opinion on the situations in the article would be?
     
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    That would require work and I'm retired.
     
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Well played, sir. Well played.
     
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