Volunteer Organization Protection Act (VOPA)
The Volunteer Organization Protection Act (VOPA) U.S. House Bill 2432 impacts every Lion in the United States. Under current law, service clubs have been forced to dissolve when they have been unable to afford the costs of litigation resulting from a volunteer's negligence. VOPA can help protect your club from being drawn into lawsuits should an accident occur during a Lions club service activity or event.
Strength in Numbers
The Volunteer Organization Protection Act of 2017 has the support of a broad group of organizations, representing more than two million U.S. volunteers, standing united to strengthen volunteerism and service in the United States of America.
What Is VOPA?
In 1997, U.S. Congress adopted the Volunteer Protection Act (VOPA), which provides protection from tort claims that might be filed against individual volunteers of nonprofit organizations. However, the Act does not completely protect nonprofit organizations from liability caused by a volunteer.
Recognizing the need to provide enhanced protection to local service club organizations, Lions Clubs International engaged Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio to develop a bill to correct this issue. The Volunteer Organization Protection Act of 2017 (VOPA) was subsequently introduced into Congress.
The bill would amend the Act by affording similar liability protections to volunteer organizations as are already provided to individual volunteers, except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct or flagrant indifference to safety. The bill does not raise the standard of liability for organizations – it merely protects organizations, such as Lions clubs, from being drawn into lawsuits for the wrongful acts of individual volunteers.
Mapping Our Progress
Take a look at representatives in Congress who are currently supporting VOPA.