There are situations that can arise in which students or others you are supervising might get hurt. Laboratory work may involve exposure to hazardous substances or machinery. Some class activities (those assignments that involve taking students off campus) might be required in a class. You may be responsible for supervising some undergraduate student workers.
To reduce your liability, use reasonable care (and document your reasonable care) in:
- Identifying appropriate assignments or activities
- Ensuring that students are adequately prepared (trained) and supervised
- Taking steps to reduce any potential risks
- Selecting students for assignments
When in doubt, especially when the assignment involves going off campus, get a signed liability release. This release must be signed by a parent if the student is under 18.
If you exercise reasonable care and are operating within the scope of your employment, the University will support you if a lawsuit is filed.
University's defense and indemnification
University faculty (and staff) have the benefit of limited indemnification by the University pursuant to North Carolina law, as well as excess liability insurance coverage with limits of $11,000,000 per occurrence and $22,000,000 annual aggregate with respect to claims that their conduct in the course of their employment caused compensable injury.
The Attorney General will provide a defense for University faculty and staff (including graduate asssistants) in such lawsuits.
However, defense by the AG, and indemnification and excess liability insurance coverage, are only available to employees performing duties within the course and scope of their employment duties.
Conduct that violates state law or University policy may be deemed "outside the scope," and someone who engages in unlawful conduct may lose the indemnification and defense otherwise available.
Sample Release Form (PDF, 60 KB)