Example - CP was terminated from her position as a probationary volunteer firefighter after she failed an agility test. She alleges that the test has a disparate impact on women. Respondent claims that CP was not an employee, and, therefore, not protected by Title VII. State X provides volunteer firefighters up to $400/month in state retirement benefits (after five years of service); death and survivors benefits; group life insurance; disability and rehabilitation benefits; health care benefits; and tuition reimbursement for courses in emergency medical and fire service techniques. These benefits are "significant remuneration" sufficient to create an employment relationship between CP and Respondent.
A volunteer may also be covered by the EEO statutes if the volunteer work is required for regular employment or regularly leads to regular employment with the same entity. In such situations, discrimination by the respondent operates to deny the charging party an employment opportunity. (75)
Example - CP is a volunteer
counselor with the Respondent, a public interest organization, and alleges
that she was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor and coworkers.
Respondent maintains that CP is not its employee, and, therefore, not covered
by Title VII. While volunteer service is not a prerequisite to employment,
former volunteers are given preferential treatment when competing for vacancies
against applicants who have not volunteered with Respondent. Most of Respondent
s regular, paid counselors initially performed volunteer work for Respondent.
In this case, volunteer service regularly leads to employment with Respondent.
Therefore, CP is protected by the EEO statutes.
74. Haavistola v. Community Fire Co. of Rising Sun, Inc., 6 F.3d 211, 222 (4th Cir. 1993).
75. See Charlton v. Paramus Bd. of Educ. , 25 F.3d 194, 198 n.4 (3d Cir.) (Title VII reaches discrimination by any covered employer that has "the ability to directly affect a plaintiff's employment opportunities"), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1022 (1994).
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