Volunteers in parks program
The Secretary may recruit, train, and accept, without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 or regulations prescribed under that chapter or subchapter, the services of individuals without compensation as volunteers for or in aid of interpretive functions or other visitor services or activities in and related to System units and related areas. In accepting those services, the Secretary shall not permit the use of volunteers in hazardous duty or law enforcement work or in policymaking processes, or to displace any employee. The services of individuals whom the Secretary determines are skilled in performing hazardous activities may be accepted.
The Secretary may provide for incidental expenses of volunteers, such as transportation, uniforms, lodging, and subsistence.
Federal Employee Status for Volunteers.—
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a volunteer shall not be deemed a Federal employee and shall not be subject to the provisions of law relating to Federal employment, including those relating to hours of work, rates of compensation, leave, unemployment compensation, and Federal employee benefits.
Employment status of volunteers.—
For the purpose of sections 1346(b) and 2401(b) and chapter 171 of title 28, a volunteer under this chapter shall be deemed a Federal employee.
For the purposes of subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, volunteers under this chapter shall be deemed civil employees of the United States within the meaning of the term “employee” as defined in section 8101 of title 5, and subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5 shall apply.
Volunteers deemed civil employees.—
For the purpose of claims relating to damage to, or loss of, personal property of a volunteer incident to volunteer service, a volunteer under this chapter shall be deemed a Federal employee, and section 3721 of title 31 shall apply.
Compensation for losses and damages.—
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not more than $9,000,000 for each fiscal year.
Authorization of Appropriations.—
(Pub. L. 113–287, § 3, Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3153; Pub. L. 113–235, div. F, title I, § 118, Dec. 16, 2014, 128 Stat. 2421; Pub. L. 114–113, div. G, title I, § 114, Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 2550; Pub. L. 114–289, title III, § 303, Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1487.)