Text: S.1684 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/25/2015)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1684 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

114th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1684

To amend the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 to provide for liability 
               protection for organizations and entities.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 25, 2015

 Mr. Kirk (for himself and Mr. Hoeven) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 to provide for liability 
               protection for organizations and entities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Volunteer Organization Protection 
Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR ORGANIZATION OR ENTITY.

    The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 (42 U.S.C. 14501 et seq.) is 
amended--
            (1) in section 3 (42 U.S.C. 14502)--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by inserting after 
                ``relating to volunteers'' the following: ``or 
                volunteer nonprofit organizations''; and
                    (B) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding 
                paragraph (1), by inserting after ``against a 
                volunteer'' the following: ``or a volunteer nonprofit 
                organization'';
            (2) in section 4 (42 U.S.C. 14503)--
                    (A) in the heading, by inserting ``and volunteer 
                nonprofit organizations'' after ``volunteers'';
                    (B) by striking subsection (c) and inserting the 
                following:
    ``(c) Liability Protection for Organization or Entity.--
            ``(1) In general.--No volunteer nonprofit organization 
        shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission of a 
        volunteer on behalf of the organization unless--
                    ``(A) the organization would be liable for the act 
                or omission under generally applicable laws governing 
                the direct or vicarious liability of organizations; and
                    ``(B) the organization itself has expressly 
                authorized the specific conduct constituting the act or 
                omission.
            ``(2) Government request or authorization.--Notwithstanding 
        paragraph (1), no volunteer nonprofit organization shall be 
        liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the 
        organization or of a volunteer acting on behalf of the 
        organization if--
                    ``(A) the organization or the volunteer engaged in 
                the act or omission at the request of or pursuant to an 
                authorization by the Federal Government, a State 
                government, or any agency or subdivision thereof; and
                    ``(B)(i) the requesting or authorizing governmental 
                entity would have been immune from suit or from 
                liability in damages if the entity had engaged in the 
                act or omission itself or through an employee, agent, 
                or independent contractor; or
                    ``(ii) any governmental employee, agent, or 
                contractor who had engaged in the act or omission on 
                behalf of the requesting or authorizing governmental 
                entity would have been immune from suit or from 
                liability in damages by virtue of immunity extended to 
                individual governmental actors.
            ``(3) Rule of construction.--Except as provided in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2), nothing in this section shall be 
        construed to affect the liability of any nonprofit organization 
        or governmental entity with respect to harm caused to any 
        person.'';
                    (C) in subsection (d)--
                            (i) by striking paragraph (2); and
                            (ii) by redesignating paragraphs (3) and 
                        (4) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively;
                    (D) in subsection (e)(1)--
                            (i) by striking ``against a volunteer'' and 
                        inserting the following: ``against--
                    ``(A) a volunteer''; and
                            (ii) by striking the period at the end and 
                        inserting the following: ``; or
                    ``(B) a volunteer nonprofit organization in an 
                action brought for harm based on the action of a 
                volunteer acting within the scope of the volunteer's 
                responsibilities to the organization unless the 
                claimant establishes by clear and convincing evidence 
                that the organization itself expressly authorized the 
                volunteer's action and did so with a conscious, 
                flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the 
                individual harmed.''; and
                    (E) in subsection (f)(1), by inserting ``or of a 
                volunteer nonprofit organization'' after ``liability of 
                a volunteer'';
            (3) in section 5 (42 U.S.C. 14504)--
                    (A) in subsection (a)--
                            (i) by inserting ``or a volunteer nonprofit 
                        organization'' after ``action against a 
                        volunteer''; and
                            (ii) by inserting ``or volunteer nonprofit 
                        organization'' after ``liability of the 
                        volunteer''; and
                    (B) in subsection (b)--
                            (i) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``or a 
                        volunteer nonprofit organization'' after ``who 
                        is a volunteer''; and
                            (ii) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``or a 
                        volunteer nonprofit organization'' after ``who 
                        is a volunteer''; and
            (4) in section 6 (42 U.S.C. 14505)--
                    (A) by striking ``For purposes of this Act'' and 
                inserting ``(a) In General.--For purposes of this 
                Act''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(b) Volunteer Nonprofit Organizations.--
            ``(1) Qualification as a volunteer nonprofit 
        organization.--
                    ``(A) Actions conducted through volunteers.--A 
                nonprofit organization that conducts substantially all 
                of its activities solely through the actions of 
                volunteers or of independent contractors is a volunteer 
                nonprofit organization for purposes of this Act.
                    ``(B) Organization with no employees.--A nonprofit 
                organization that has no employees is conclusively 
                presumed to be a volunteer nonprofit organization for 
                purposes of this Act.
                    ``(C) Local affiliated organizations with no 
                employees.--
                            ``(i) Presumption.--A nonprofit 
                        organization is presumed to be a volunteer 
                        nonprofit organization for purposes of this Act 
                        if the primary office and the majority of the 
                        employees of the organization function 
                        primarily to provide support to local 
                        affiliated organizations that do not have 
                        employees and that act in furtherance of the 
                        organization's nonprofit mission.
                            ``(ii) Rebuttal.--The presumption under 
                        clause (i) may be rebutted only by clear and 
                        convincing evidence that the board of the 
                        nonprofit organization expressly authorized the 
                        employees of the nonprofit organization to 
                        assert active control over the local affiliated 
                        organization with respect to the act or 
                        omission in question.
                    ``(D) Public charities; private foundations; social 
                welfare organizations.--A nonprofit organization is a 
                volunteer nonprofit organization for purposes of this 
                Act if the organization--
                            ``(i) has fewer than 50 employees;
                            ``(ii) has annual gross receipts of less 
                        than $200,000; and
                            ``(iii) is--
                                    ``(I) an organization described in 
                                paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 
                                509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
                                1986 that is exempt from taxation under 
                                section 501(a) of such Code;
                                    ``(II) a private foundation, as 
                                defined in section 509 of the Internal 
                                Revenue Code of 1986, that is exempt 
                                from taxation under section 501(a) of 
                                such Code; or
                                    ``(III) an organization operated 
                                exclusively for the promotion of social 
                                welfare that is described in section 
                                501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code 
                                of 1986 and is exempt from taxation 
                                under section 501(a) of such Code.
            ``(2) Acts by a volunteer nonprofit organization.--
                    ``(A) Governing documents of organization.--A 
                volunteer nonprofit organization acts `itself' for 
                purposes of this Act only if the person or body that is 
                authorized by the governing documents of the 
                organization to act in the name of and on behalf of the 
                organization expressly acts in accordance with those 
                documents.
                    ``(B) Applicable state law.--If the governing 
                documents of a volunteer nonprofit organization do not 
                identify the person or body that is authorized to act 
                in the name of and on behalf of the organization, the 
                organization acts `itself' for purposes of this Act 
                only if the person or body whose action is required 
                under the applicable State law in order to bind the 
                organization acts strictly in accordance with that 
                State law.''.
                                 <all>

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