Educators Employment Liability Program: Common Questions
Q. Does the EEL Program cover administration of medication(s) at the school site?
A. Yes, in limited circumstances. These include:
- Members in every occupation group are covered for administering oral prescription and non-prescription medicine as long as it is at the expressed request of his or her supervisor or at the written request of a student's parent or guardian.
- Every member is also covered for giving emergency first-aid—including CPR—when no medically trained person is available.
- Certified health aides are covered when employed by the educational unit to render nursing services and first-aid under the direction of a school nurse. The policy does require that the supervising nurse be an employee of an educational unit, but it does not matter whether this nurse is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN).
Q. Does coverage also depend on training?
A . Absolutely. There are certain activities and procedures, such as physical, occupational and psychological therapy, that are covered only if performed by a licensed or certified therapist employed to render such services. Teachers and paraprofessionals -- people not specifically licensed or certified in health care -- are not covered for these procedures under the EEL Program.
Q. Does the EEL Program cover members for the administration of health care services, if this is requested by the employer?
A. Yes, in limited circumstances, such as health care services rendered by the member to students who are designated disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), when rendering of such services is expressly required by the employer, or provided the member has received advance written approval for rendering such services from the parent or guardian of the student.
Q. Is there further advice for NEA members doing health care procedures?
A. Three things. First, make sure your employer is not asking you to do anything that's illegal in your state for someone in your occupation. Second, make sure your employer provides you with training. Third, make sure your employer either holds you harmless or provides you with primary liability insurance.
Q. Does the EEL Program cover civil lawsuits arising from accidents involving a member's operation of motor vehicles?
A. No. The EEL Program excludes claims arising out of the operation, ownership or use of a motor vehicle by a member regardless of occupation (for example: a bus driver, a regular classroom teacher, or a student teacher). One of the three exceptions to the "Motor Vehicle Exclusion" provides coverage to a member who is supervising students entering or exiting a school bus.
Q. Does the EEL Program cover the defense of criminal charges arising from a member's educational employment activities?**
A. Yes. Coverage B of the EEL Program reimburses a member's attorney fees and costs up to a maximum of $35,000 incurred in the defense of a criminal proceeding arising out of the member's educational employment activities. Reimbursement will be made if the member is exonerated by a court of law from all charges or all charges are subsequently withdrawn or dismissed. If, however, the criminal proceeding is the result of the use of corporal punishment, reimbursement will be made regardless of the outcome.
For example, when a member uses corporal punishment to discipline an unruly student and the member is later criminally charged, reimbursement of attorney fees will be made regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceeding.
Q. What can I do if I'm denied EEL Program coverage?
A. The insurance company provides a written coverage determination for each claim filed. If the claim is denied, a written explanation is provided and you are given notice of your right to challenge this determination and resolve the disagreement through arbitration.
You can invoke the arbitration process by filing with the insurance company a written demand for arbitration, postmarked no later than 30 days after the date you received the company's statement of position.
Please refer to your copy of the EEL Certificate of Insurance brochure for additional information (the brochure is available through your local UniServ Director or state association EEL Program Coordinator).