Huff v. Regional Transportation Program
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
November 15, 2016
CategoriesEmployee / er Definitions
Volunteer Car Accident Remuneration Wages
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Huff was a volunteer driver for RTP, which reimbursed his mileage expenses for using his own vehicle to transport low income clients to various social service agencies. RTP also had employees, but unlike Huff and other volunteers, they drove RTP vehicles and received wages. Huff was driving his vehicle for RTP when he was in an accident and was injured. He filed a Petition for Award, claiming he was an employee, but Judge Collier found that he was not an employee but was rather a volunteer and denied his petition.
Huff appealed, but the Appellate Division panel upheld Judge Collier's decision, finding that Huff did not receive "remuneration" but instead received only reimbursement for his travel expenses, and he could decline to accept driving assignments. Huff argued that the WC Board should use the "independent contractor" analysis it uses in other cases, but the panel dismissed that argument, again because RTP did not pay wages to Huff.