U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor-Elect

Alex Passantino
Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
Former Acting Administrator, Wage & Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor

William Westover Smyth
California Vintner

J. Aloysius Hogan, Esq.
Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Hosted by
James Sherk
Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics
Center for Data Analysis, The Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, Heritage Foundation

Did you know that the federal minimum wage prohibits Americans from volunteering for entities organized as a for-profit business? As a result many family businesses and community organizations have found themselves in trouble with the law. The issue has surfaced in varied settings recently:

  • Congressman Tim Griffin and Senator John Boozman have introduced federal legislation, H.R. 3173 and S. 1656, to help women, predominantly, who volunteer to set up used-children’s-items consignment sales, after a business was cited for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Wineries have had a long tradition of volunteers, but recently the California Department of Industrial Relations levied a $130,000 fine on a winery that only had made $11,000 profit in its almost 25 year history.
  • A California organic farmer was fined $1,050 because family members, such as siblings and nieces and nephews helped on his one-acre farm.
  • Secretary of State of Kentucky Alison Lundergan Grimes volunteered legal work for her family’s burger joint Hugh Jass Burgers in Lexington, Kentucky.

Has the administration of the law exceeded its original intent and gone beyond what is reasonable?

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