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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Refundable Deposit No Longer Refundable

    CA- I am wondering if it is legal to change policy regarding refundable deposits. I volunteer for a hospital where we are required to wear volunteer jackets. At the time that I received mine, I was required to place a refundable deposit. However, I just received an email stating that the policy has changed and that any jacket not returned by 5/31/10 will no longer be refunded. I cannot return mine by then because I will not yet have fulfilled my 100-hour committment. I am curious whether or not it is legal for the volunteer program to do this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Refundable Deposit No Longer Refundable

    Explain the 100 hour commitment - what's the background, here?

    Also, what is it that has inspired the hospital's change of policy?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Refundable Deposit No Longer Refundable

    To volunteer at the hospital, we commit to completing 100 volunteer hours. Of course, we are not bound in any way to do so but if we choose not to complete the hours, I suppose we won't get letters of recommendation or references.

    At the time that we were notified of the policy change, we were not given an explanation for the change. I wrote back to request one and was told that they decided to change the policy because:

    a) Jackets were being returned in soiled condition.
    b) Something about how the volunteer program used to be run by another director who has since left, taking all the jacket deposit money with her. However, volunteers who placed deposits during this director's time are still bringing back jackets and demanding refunds, which is giving the current directors a lot of difficulty.

    Still, it doesn't seem right to me that the new policy should affect volunteers who placed deposits when the old policy was still in place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Refundable Deposit No Longer Refundable

    That's why you've been given an opportunity to return the jackets and get your deposits back.

    Consider seeing if you can negotiate some latitude - for example, that volunteers who obtained jackets under the old rules can return them at the end of their service, but only if the jackets are properly laundered and in reusable condition when returned.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Refundable Deposit No Longer Refundable

    and once they make the deposits non-refundable, there really isn't a deposit anymore but a rental fee.

    so, either turn in your jacked by the 31st or figure the deposit is lost. After that, it is up to you to decide if you want to volunteer and pay for the required jacket to do so or not.

    Maybe if enough people disagree with the new policy, the hospital may find themselves in a position of not having enough volunteers. If there are enough that disagree and are willing to leave rather than be required to pay a fee to use the jackets, maybe the hospital will reconsider their new policy.

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