Outside employment and volunteer activities

The union has learned that some supervisors and managers in the agency are insisting that employees need to request permission before participating in all volunteer activities under the new CBA – that is false. The CBA did not change anything regarding this topic, because this is a change required by federal regulations.

The 1995 CBA has the following statement: “Volunteer activity is not considered outside employment for the purposes of [Article 10].” This statement was removed in the new CBA because federal regulations changed, requiring that federal employees request permission before engaging in some volunteer activities.

5 CFR 4601.101 (d)(2)(ii) states, “Outside employment does not include participation in the activities of a nonprofit charitable, religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, public service, or civic organization, unless the participation involves:

  • Acting in a fiduciary capacity,
  • Providing professional services for compensation,
  • Rendering advice for compensation other than the reimbursement of expenses, or
  • An activity relating to the employee’s official duties as defined in 5 CFR 2635.807(a)(2)(i)(A) through (E), to include activities relating to any ongoing or announced policy, program, or operation of the employee’s agency as it is defined at 5 CFR 4601.102.

So this means that for activities like Little League, volunteering at a church, and others, no permission is required as long as the participation does not involve something in the four bullets above.

If employees are not sure if they fall into one of the above four areas requiring permission, they are encouraged to check with OCC.