We have a camp trip this summer and are looking to send one of our part-time hourly employees. This will require them to essentially be working the entire trip. Are we required to pay overtime for all hours worked or are there exemptions for "camp" time? I have seen mention of exemptions of camp counselors, but it seems since they are already a regular employee that we may be crossing a line.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations do recognize an exemption from overtime pay for employees of an organized camp operated as a “distinct physical place of business.” See 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(3); 29 C.F.R. § 779.23. Under the facts described, it is unlikely the part-time hourly employee will qualify for this statutory overtime exemption, either because the employee is employed by the church, and not by a camp with a “distinct physical place of business,” or because the camp trip is not an organized camp (or perhaps for both reasons).
But the inquiry should not stop here. The DOL has recognized a narrow exception from the definition of employment, an exception in which an employee of a nonprofit organization “volunteers” in an activity sponsored by the organization. In determining whether an individual’s participation in an activity is as a “volunteer” and not an “employee,” the DOL considers several factors, including whether the services are:
Offered freely without pressure or coercion;