Arizona: “Teachers for Africa” Participant Was Volunteer, Not Employee of Charity

An Arizona appellate court recently affirmed a finding by the state Industrial Commission that a claimant who worked for the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help ("IFESH") in its “Teachers for Africa” program was a volunteer and not an employee in spite of the fact that she received $600 as a “pre-departure” allowance, $350 for a “country settling-in” allowance, and a monthly stipend of $850 for her living expenses, transportation, and other incidentals.  Citing Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law and observing that during her orientation week, claimant signed a “Participation Agreement” that indicated her efforts were strictly on a volunteer basis and that she would be paid a stipend, but not a salary, the court observed that when the issue was employee status versus independent contractor status, the primary issue was control.  When the issue, however, was whether the person was an employee or a volunteer, control was not nearly so important; the claimant must establish the existence of a contract of hire.  No such contract of hire existed.  That her stipend exceeded her expenses was not controlling, held the court.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See Henderson-Jones v. Industrial Comm’n, 2013 Ariz. App. LEXIS 165 (Aug. 22, 2013) [2013 Ariz. App. LEXIS 165 (Aug. 22, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 64.01 [64.01]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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