6540 - Defense and Indemnification of Board Members and Employees
|Policy: Defense and Indemnification of Board Members and Employees||Policy Number: 6540|
|Date of Original Policy: 07/10/2002||Date Revision Adopted: 11/07/2018|
|Reviewed by Policy Committee: 10/17/2018||Date of Next Review: 12/09/2021|
|Replacement of Policy Number:|
Liability Protection Pursuant to Education Law
The Board of Education recognizes its statutory obligation to indemnify School District employees (and in certain circumstances, Board of Education members and volunteers) pursuant to the provisions of Sections 3023, 3028 and 3811 of Education Law. For the purposes of this policy, the term “employee” shall be as defined in the applicable statute(s).
The District shall not be subject to the duty to defend unless the employee, within the time prescribed by statute, delivers appropriate notice of the claim to the Board of Education.
a) For purposes of Education Law Section 3811, the employee must give written notice within five (5) days after service of process upon him or her. The stature mandates only written notice of the claim to the Board of Education; however, submission of relevant legal documents by the employee to the Board is also encouraged.
b) For purposes of Education Law Sections 3023 and 3028, the employee must deliver the original or a copy of the relevant legal documents to the Board within ten (10) days after service of process upon him or her.
The District will provide legal defense or indemnification for all damages, costs and reasonable expenses incurred in the defense of an action or proceeding if authorized pursuant to statute and provided that the alleged action or omission which occurred is covered by the appropriate statute (s). Furthermore, the District will not be required to provide indemnification protection or legal defense unless the employee was, at the time of the alleged incident, acting in the discharge of his or her duties within the scope of his or her employment or authorized volunteer duties or under the direction of the Board of Education.
Public Officers Law Section 18
The Board of Education hereby also confers the benefits of Section 18 of the New York State Public Officers Law upon the “employees” of the District, as defined in Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, and the District assumes the liability for the costs incurred in accordance with the provisions of Section 18. The benefits accorded to District employees under Section 18 of the Public Officers Law shall supplement and be available in addition to defense or indemnification protection conferred by other enactments or provisions of law.
The term “employees” shall include member of the Board of Education; the Superintendent; District officers; District employees; volunteers expressly authorized to participate in a District sponsored volunteer program; or any other person holding a position by election, appointment or employment in the service of the District, whether or not compensated. The term “employee” shall also include a former employee, his or her estate or judicially appointed representative.
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, and upon compliance by the employee with the requirements of this statute, the District shall provide for the defense of the employee in any civil action or proceeding, state or federal , arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred or allegedly occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his or her public employment or duties. Furthermore, the District shall indemnify and save harmless its employees in the amount of any judgment obtained against such employees in a state or federal court, or in the amount of any settlement of a claim, provided that the act or omission from which such judgment or claim arose occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his or her public employment or duties. However, in the case of a settlement, the duty to indemnify and save harmless shall be conditioned upon the approval of the amount of the settlement by the Board of Education.
The duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless, in accordance with Section 18 of the Public Officers Law, shall be conditioned upon the delivery by the employee to the School District attorney or to the Superintendent a written request to provide for his or her defense, together with the original or a copy of any summons, complaints, process, notice, demand or pleading within ten (10) days after he or she is served with such document. Pursuant to Section 18, the full cooperation of the employee in the defense of such action or proceeding and in the defense of any action or proceeding against the District based upon the same act or omission, and in the prosecution of any appeal, shall also be required as a condition for the District’s duty to defend or indemnify and save harmless to exist.
Exceptions to Liability Coverage
Indemnification coverage or provision of legal defense by the District will not apply unless the actionable claim is of the type covered by the statute(s) or is not otherwise exempt from coverage pursuant to law. Additionally, indemnification coverage or the duty to provide a defense shall not arise where such action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the School District.
Public Officers Law Section 18
Education Law Sections 1709(26) and (34-b), 2560,3023,3028 and 3811
General Municipal Law Sections 6-n and 52