Teacher Acting as Chaperone Entitled to Workers Comp

December 14, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a high school mathematics teacher is entitled to workers compensation benefits for an injury she suffered while serving as a chaperone for the school’s ski club.

Business Insurance reports that the self-insured city of Peabody sought to deny the teacher benefits for a 2004 shoulder injury, arguing it occurred while she voluntarily participated in a recreational activity, court records show. However, the high court upheld a Department of Industrial Accidents finding that the recreational aspect of serving as a chaperone was incidental to the teacher’s duties of monitoring student safety.

“We affirm the (DIA) decision because we conclude that a teacher who acts as a chaperone to students participating in a school-sponsored activity is acting in the course of her employment and is not engaged in ‘recreational activity,'” the court said, according to Business Insurance.