Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community or to help someone out, but what happens if you suffer an injury while volunteering? You won’t be able to get workers’ compensation if you throw out your back while helping your buddy move his couch downstairs, but what happens if you herniate a disc while carrying equipment while volunteering at a blood drive or while helping out with Habitat For Humanity? Can you seek workers’ compensation if you’re a volunteer? In most cases, you can’t, but there are plenty of instances where volunteers are actually protected under the law. We explain in today’s blog.
Volunteering and Workers’ Compensation
As we mentioned above, in most cases, volunteers aren’t usually covered by workers’ compensation. Under Minnesota law, a person must be established as an employee by receiving some sort of payment for his or her services in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation. Since most volunteer opportunities aren’t through your employer, you probably aren’t covered in the event of an injury.
However, like most instances of workers’ compensation, there are some gray areas. For example, let’s say you have an agreement with your property manager where you agree to vacuum the hallways every Monday evening and for doing so, your property manager knocks $50 off your rent. Since you’ve entered into an agreement and you perform regular duties for compensation in the form of reduced rent, you could potentially seek workers’ compensation if, let’s say, a paint bucket fell off a shelf and landed on your head while you were retrieving the vacuum from the storage closet. There needs to be an intent to enter a regular arraignment in order to seek compensation, through. If the property manager says they’ll buy you lunch if you take a package to a tenant down the hall, and you trip over your own feet while walking, you probably won’t earn compensation.
Protected Volunteers in Minnesota
Minnesota workers’ compensation law also classifies some individuals as employees, even if their title is volunteer. Some volunteers that are protected under Minnesota workers’ compensation law include:
- Volunteers working in state institutions, like correctional facilities.
- Volunteers participating in programs established by local social service agencies, such as a county health and human services department.
- Volunteers working at a Minnesota veterans home.
- Volunteer first responders, firefighters, ambulance drivers and other emergency personnel.
St. Louis Park Work Comp Lawyer
However, just because you are considered a volunteer doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to compensation for an injury arising out of negligence. You can still seek compensation from an organization or an individual if they were partly at fault for your injury.
For more information about your worker’s compensation rights as a volunteer, or to set up a consultation with a work comp attorney, contact Dean Margolis today.
- Can I Sue A Skier Or Snowboarder For Hitting Me In Minnesota? - December 2, 2022
- Injury Compensation For Healthcare Workers Assaulted By Patients - November 22, 2022
- Is My Minnesota Personal Injury Settlement Taxable? - November 15, 2022