School teachers have a unique set of rights under Kentucky Law and under union contract, if they are represented by a Union like the Jefferson County Teachers’ association (JCTA). KRS Chapter 161 governs the rights and responsibilities of teachers. Among other things, it guarantees an appeal in teacher certification actions, the right to be free from abuse, and it establishes the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System.
If a teacher is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to medical treatment, two-thirds of average weekly wage while off of work for recuperation and medications for treatment of the work-related injury under the Workers’ Compensation Act. He or she can also bring a workers’ compensation claim for permanent disability after an injury if surgery was necessary and if permanent impairment results. If an injury was a result of a student assault, the teacher is entitled to full pay, for up to a year. This is called “assault pay” and is provided under state law and also under union contract where one is applicable.
If a teacher becomes disabled, he or she may be entitled to disability retirement under the Kentucky Disability Retirement System. If a teacher has not paid into Social Security within the past 5 years, however, Social Security Disability is not available. There may be other options when a teacher has been injured on the job, for instance, if the teacher was struck by a car, or if the injury was caused by a negligent driver while the teacher was traveling in the course of his or her employment.
My law firm works with the Jefferson County Teachers’ Association, and I am familiar with the JCTA contract and state law providing for disability retirement. I have represented many teachers in their claims for disability, and each situation is unique. Contact me today for free guidance on understanding your rights.