Are NPO’s that hire volunteers responsible for any injury that a volunteer suffered?

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Are NPO’s that hire volunteers responsible for any injury that a volunteer suffered?

I had an incident at my assigned site, was instructed to lift boxes, and then suffered a lower back injury. I’m questioning if I may claim any benefits at all.

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You would have to read a copy of their workers compensation policy and see if it covers volunteers--but those policies usually do not.

You could sue and claim that they were neglectful in asking you to lift the boxes and that this neglect cause you a back injury.  Generally negligence requires: duty, breach of that duty, causation, harm.  It is going to be tough for you to prove that they had a duty to you as a volunteer. 

Instead of getting the legal system involved and paying a bunch of legal fees, you may want to negotiate with the non proft and see if they could pay for some health benefits just to cover intial treatment.  They might do the right thing. 


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