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Vermont: Lack of “Wages” Sinks Volunteer Driver’s Comp Claim

June 01, 2018 (1 min read)

Emphasizing that the definition of “employee” within the context of workers’ compensation law was not identical with the common law definition and that the tests used to determine whether a particular worker was an employee versus an independent contractor were not applicable to the facts of the case, the Supreme Court of Vermont held that a purported employer’s reimbursement of a “volunteer” driver’s expenses for mileage driven at rates established by the Internal Revenue Service was not “wages” as that term is defined by Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 601(14). Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the Court said that without wages, the volunteer could not be considered an employee entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained in an auto accident that occurred while the volunteer transported a rider in the volunteer’s private vehicle. 

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Perrault v. Chittenden County Transp. Auth., 2018 VT 58, 2018 Vt. LEXIS 57 (May 25, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 65.03.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see