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Vermont: “Value” Received by Student Teacher/Intern Constitutes “Wages” for Workers’ Comp Purposes

April 19, 2018 (1 min read)

In a decision in which the plurality, the concurring, and the dissenting opinions all quoted Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the Supreme Court of Vermont held that an individual who sustained injuries while student teaching received “wages” under Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 601(13) and, therefore, was an “employee” as defined under Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 601(14), because she received an “advantage” in that the position was meeting the requirement for a teacher's license and because the value of that advantage could be “estimated in money” (i.e., the loss of the educational program equated to a loss of the license to practice a profession). The plurality added that its decision had been greatly aided by the Court’s recent decision in Haller v. Champlain College, 2017 VT 86, 177 A.3d 497 (2017). The Commissioner had concluded that “the opportunity to fulfill a state-mandated licensure requirement” was remuneration but was not wages because the value of a student teaching internship cannot be estimated in money. The plurality disagreed. 

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Lyons v. Chittenden Cent. Supervisory Union, 2018 VT 26, 2018 Vt. LEXIS 31 (Mar. 16, 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