Volunteer Protection Act of 1997


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Volunteer Protection Act of 1997

Legislation in the United States that protects volunteers at a nonprofit from legal liability for actions they take in good faith that unintentionally cause harm to another. For example, if a person volunteering at a homeless shelter unknowingly assigns a homeless person to a bunk that cannot hold his/her weight, the Act will protect the volunteer from liability in a resultant lawsuit if the bunk collapses. The Act was intended to promote volunteerism.
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(Complex returns are not prepared at VITA sites, although many would argue that the EIC is one of the most complex tax provisions.) Volunteers do not sign returns and are protected from legal liability by the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997.
More than 10 years later, Congress has finally responded to that "emergency" call, passing by an overwhelming margin the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997. Ironically, after the decade-long battle to achieve support for protecting volunteers of nonprofit organizations from liability, Congress' action on the legislation this year was quick and decisive.
On June 18 President Clinton signed into law the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997.
The new, federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 grants immunity from personal liability to those who volunteer for non-profit organizations.
Passage of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 represents a major victory for ASAE; for national, state, and local associations; and for the millions of individual volunteers who serve those associations.
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