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Overtime for Employees Who Volunteer
Are churches required to pay employees overtime for their volunteer hours?

Q: Our church operates a preschool that employs six persons. We often have church employees volunteer to work in the preschool. They work 40 hours for the church, and then want to volunteer several hours during the same week working in the preschool. Their duties as preschool volunteers would not be the same or similar to the duties they perform as church employees. Are we required to pay these persons overtime compensation for the hours they work as volunteers?

A: I am frequently asked this question. A few years ago, I submitted the following question to the chief counsel's office of the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division:

Must an employer pay overtime to an hourly employee who works 40 hours per week at a regular job, and also works additional hours for the same employer performing work unrelated to her regular employment. For example, assume that a church secretary works 40 hours each week, and several weeks during the year she works 5-10 additional hours doing custodial services. Must she be paid overtime for the custodial services, even though they are completely unrelated to her regular job? If so, at what rate?

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