If a member is the victim of an assault while on school property, the following procedures are recommended:
- Write down as soon as possible after the assault incident all particulars of the situation, including names, witnesses, date, time(s), location, and general conditions.
- Contact the proper school authorities.
- Contact the local association.
- Have the person determine his/her rights to assault leave under the Ohio Revised Code or the collective bargaining agreement.
- Take pictures, if relevant and possible, of injuries or property damage.
- Get a doctor’s statement if there is even a remote possibility of personal injury.
- File all appropriate police reports.
- Press charges against the assaulting student(s) or others.
- Avoid talking to anyone representing the student or others without prior counsel.
- Remember, members are covered by the OEA/NEA Legal Services Program if charges are filed against them.
For Member Protection
Under Ohio law, public employers bear responsibility to indemnify their employees against certain tort claims for acts occurring within the scope of their employment. However, as OEA members, individuals have the additional protection of $1 million in professional liability insurance. This program provides for: *
- Liability Protection. Payment of up to $1 million in damages assessed against a member as a result of a lawsuit.† There is a $3 million aggregate limit per occurrence for this coverage. This is excess coverage, meaning that it is available when the employer declines to provide coverage or where liability limits are exceeded.
- Legal Costs. Payment of all legal costs in defending such cases.
- Civil Rights. Payment of up to $300,000 in damages, attorney fees, and court costs if a member is charged with the violation of the civil rights of an individual.†
- Criminal Cases. Reimbursement of attorney fees and other legal costs up to $35,000 if a member is charged with violating a criminal statute in the course of employment, provided the member is found innocent of the charges or the charges are dropped. If charges stem from an incident involving corporal punishment, the member can be reimbursed up to $35,000, regardless of the outcome of the case.
- Bail Bond. Reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the bail bond premium if the member must post bond.†
- Personal Property Damage. Payment of up to $500 for damages to personal property when caused by an assault in the course of employment. If you believe there is a claim under the liability protection program, contact your local OEA/NEA Labor Relations Consultant immediately.
†In an incident arising out of the member’s education employment.
* In civil actions related to your education employment activities. Please note: This is not a full description of the coverage. For a complete description of OEA/NEA liability coverage, please contact your Labor Relations Consultant.