Volunteer Chaplains count as Employees for Purposes of Worker’s Compensation

S.921 would expand the definition of state employees, as it relates to those eligible for worker’s compensation, to include volunteer chaplains “performing their duties as a chaplain for any municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency”. It’s unclear why volunteers should qualify for worker’s comp. Typically worker’s compensation benefits are for injuries sustained while performing tasks for a paying job, that prevent the employee from providing further work at the same paying job.

Volunteering is by its definition voluntary, and any risks of injury from volunteering should be absorbed by the volunteer. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for compensating injured volunteers.

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