Workers’ Compensation

ORS 656.031
Coverage for municipal volunteer personnel


Except as provided in ORS 404.215 (Workers’ compensation coverage), all municipal personnel, other than those employed full-time, part-time, or substitutes therefor, shall, for the purpose of this chapter, be known as volunteer personnel and shall not be considered as workers unless the municipality has filed the election provided by this section.


The county, city or other municipality utilizing volunteer personnel as specified in subsection (1) of this section may elect to have such personnel considered as subject workers for purposes of this chapter. Such election shall be made by filing a written application to the insurer, or in the case of a self-insured employer, the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, that includes a resolution of the governing body declaring its intent to cover volunteer personnel as provided in subsection (1) of this section and a description of the work to be performed by such personnel. The application shall also state the estimated total number of volunteer personnel on a roster for each separate category for which coverage is elected. The county, city or other municipality shall notify the insurer, or in the case of self-insurers, the director, of changes in the estimated total number of volunteers.


Upon receiving the written application the insurer or self-insured employer may fix assumed wage rates for the volunteer personnel, which may be used only for purposes of computations under this chapter, and shall require the regular payment of premiums or assessments based upon the estimated total numbers of such volunteers carried on the roster for each category being covered. The self-insured employer shall submit such assumed wage rates to the director. If the director finds that the rates are unreasonable, the director may fix appropriate rates to be used for purposes of this section.


The county, city or municipality shall maintain separate official membership rosters for each category of volunteers. A certified copy of the official membership roster shall be furnished the insurer or director upon request. Persons covered under this section are entitled to the benefits of this chapter and they are entitled to such benefits if injured as provided in ORS 656.202 (Compensation payable to subject worker in accordance with law in effect at time of injury) while performing any duties arising out of and in the course of their employment as volunteer personnel, if the duties being performed are among those:


Described on the application of the county, city or municipality; and


Required of similar full-time paid employees.


The filing of claims for benefits under this section is the exclusive remedy of a volunteer or a beneficiary of the volunteer for injuries compensable under this chapter against the state, its political subdivisions, their officers, employees, or any employer, regardless of negligence. [Formerly 656.088; 1969 c.527 §1; 1977 c.72 §1; 1979 c.815 §2; 1981 c.854 §5; 1981 c.874 §1; 2009 c.718 §14a]


Last accessed
May 26, 2023