Federal Compliance Toolkit

The IAFC-VCOS created and compiled the resources in the Federal Compliance Toolkit to assist fire departments with taxes and employee benefits. All the resources and references provided are for your consideration without qualification or recommendation.

Featured Resources

Managing Volunteer Fire Fighters - FLSA (A guide for Fire Chiefs)

Managing Volunteer Firefighters for FLSA Compliance: A Guide for Fire Chiefs and Community Leaders

A guide for fire chiefs and community leaders to better manage volunteer firefighters for FLSA compliance.

U.S. DOL Regional Office Locations

Local/state resources to assist with your questions about the FLSA.

Wage & Hour Division Investigation Checklist (Summary)


  • Proactive steps you can take now to minimize exposure

The Investigation


  • Guidelines for interacting with the investigator and providing appropriate workspace whether you have notice or not

Opening Conference

  • Guidelines for determining the scope of the investigation and the best way to respond
  • Consider notifying outside counsel for guidance

Responding to Records Requests

  • Guidelines and considerations
  • Only existing documents kept in the ordinary course of business apply

Interviews with Employees and Volunteers

  • Non-management and management employees/volunteers
  • You have a right to object to interference with normal operations

Closing Conference

  • Meeting to discuss any violations and potential corrective actions
  • Guidelines for responding
  • U.S. DOL Resources

    Online Guide to U.S. Social Security Programs
    A basic guide to Social Security Programs.
    U.S. Social Security Temporary Emergency Worker Exclusion: Resource Guide
    A Social Security Administration resources guide for regional and field offices.
    U.S. Social Security Coverage Development in Employer-Employee Cases
    From the Social Security Administration’s Program Operations Manual Systems (POMS).

    How will this toolkit help my department?

    Many volunteer and combination fire departments find it challenging to balance numerous standards, rules and regulations that define whether a member is a volunteer or paid firefighter. The resources in this toolkit outline these standards, provide clarification and useful tips to ensure your department complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Social Security Administration and IRS regulations. Should your department be audited by one of the federal regulators, we also provide you with a handy checklist to help guide you through the process.

    If you have a tool or resource you think would be helpful to add to this toolkit, please send it to us at VCOS@iafc.org for consideration.