||Volume 25, Number 3, Nov./Dec. 2012
By Sarb Lalli
The BCTF recently received a decision by the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal denying a teacher’s claim for an injury suffered during a fun staff versus students’ softball game played at lunchtime on a school day. The vice-chair placed great weight on a WCB policy that states, “The organization of, or participation in, recreational, exercise or sports activities or physical exercises is not normally considered to be part of a worker’s employment under the Act.” The vice-chair concluded that the policy would allow compensation in exceptional circumstances only and that this case did not meet the exceptional circumstances’ test for the following reasons:
- The lunch hour is not a normal working hour.
- As a social studies teacher, the worker was not involved in an activity that was part of his job.
- The activity was voluntary.
- The principal did not directly supervise the activity.
- Fitness was not a job requirement.
Members are advised to think twice about participating in any recreational or physical activities outside of instructional time. Not only do you place yourself at risk of being injured, now you place yourself at risk of not receiving WCB coverage for your injuries.
Sarb Lalli, WCB advocate, BCTF Income Security Division