Williamsville Central School District

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Compensation & Related Benefits

Adoption Date: 7/7/2009
6000 - Personnel

6540 DEFENSE AND INDEMNIFICATION OF BOARD MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES

Liability Protection Pursuant to Education Law
The Board of Education recognizes its statutory obligation to indemnify District employees (and in certain circumstances, Board of Education members and volunteers) pursuant to the provisions of Education Law Sections 3023, 3028 and 3811. 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.

  1. For purposes of Education Law Section 3811, the employee must give written notice within five (5) days after service of process upon him/her. The statute 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.
  2. 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/her.
The District will provide legal defense and/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 or allegedly occurred is covered by the appropriate statute(s). Furthermore, the District will not be required to provide indemnification protection and/or legal defense unless the employee was, at the time of the alleged incident, acting in the discharge of his/her duties within the scope of his/her employment or authorized volunteer duties and/or under the direction of the Board of Education.

Public Officers Law Section 18

The Board of Education hereby also confers the benefits of New York State Public Officers Law Section 18 upon the "employees" of the District, as defined in Public Officers Law Section 18; and the District assumes the liability for the costs incurred in accordance with the provisions of Public Officers Law Section 18. The benefits accorded to District employees under Public Officers Law Section 18 shall supplement and be available in addition to defense or indemnification protection conferred by other enactment or provisions of law.

The term "employees" shall include members 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/her estate or judicially appointed representative.

Pursuant to the provisions of Public Officers Law Section 18, 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/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/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 and/or indemnify and save harmless, in accordance with Public Officers Law Section 18, shall be conditioned upon the delivery by the employee to the School Attorney or to the Superintendent a written request to provide for his/her defense, together with the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within ten (10) days after he/she is served with such document. Pursuant to Public Officers Law 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 and/or indemnify and save harmless to exist.

Exceptions to Liability Coverage

Indemnification coverage and/or provision of legal defense by the District will not apply unless the actionable claim is of the type covered by the statute(s) and/or is not otherwise exempt from coverage pursuant to law. Additionally, indemnification coverage and/or the duty to provide a defense shall not arise where such action or proceeding is brought by or on behalf of the District.

Paul D. Coverell Teacher Protection Act of 2001, as authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,
20 United States Code (USC) Section 6731 et seq.
Education Law Sections 1604(25), 1604(31-b), 1709(26), 1709(34-b), 2560, 3023, 3028 and 3811
General Municipal Law Sections 6-n and 52
Public Officers Law Section 18

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