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Minnesota Personal Trainer at Workplace

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  • Minnesota Personal Trainer at Workplace

    Hello,

    I work in Human Resources for an organization of around 100 FT employees. We are strongly committed to our employee’s wellbeing and have decided to hire a personal trainer to offer their services to our employees at no cost to the employee.

    The office building that we are located in has a gym the trainer will be using and the employees will be voluntarily signing up for training sessions outside of their working hours.

    I want to ensure that we have considered all potential liabilities and would appreciate any advice.

  • #2
    If you pay for the trainer, any injuries may fall under WC even if its outside work hours.

    You can have the employees sign a waiver, but they cant waive their legal right to WC and most waivers arent worth much according to our attorney.

    Will they be working out alone? That should not occur. There should always be 2 people minimum there for safety.
    Thats all I can think of now.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response! No, they would not be working out alone- he would have them working out in groups of 4-5 people.

      Is there anything I should look for in the contact with our organization and the personal trainer that would limit our liability?

      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        (I work in the gym industry for two of the companies that I do HR/payroll/finance analysis for...even though my background is HR)

        Make sure that the PT has his own personal insurance policy AND that your company and the gym is a "named insured" on the policy. (it should not cost him anything extra to add your company) If he does not, you need to get the insurance information from the gym. That means that it might be possible for the WC insurance carrier to subrogate part of the claim back to his or the gym's policy IF there is a reason to do so. But I do agree that an injury could (possibly) fall under your WC claims process. Since WC is so state specific and then claim specific, it is hard to tell you for sure. You might check with your WC insurance carrier first to be certain.

        Other non-WC related issues ----
        Make sure that "voluntary" truly is. Otherwise, you might fall into FLSA/wage issues.

        Also, depending on the relationship between the PT and the gym, the gym might have some requirements (such as these employees become members) that the PT doesn't tell you about. The gym itself should have property insurance coverage for injuries at the gym that are due to failures on the gym's part (i.e. slip and fall due to mopped floor with no sign, etc). And other types of injuries to members.

        There are basically three types of relationships that I have seen : (1) employee -- where he works for, is paid by and you pay the gym and if he got hurt it would fall under their WC policy and where he falls totally under any EPL insurance; (2) he is an independent contractor and the gym pays him some percent/amount of the sessions that he does but the money flows through the gym itself -- would generally not fall under their WC /EPL policy if PT hurt but they should be requiring he have his own and their WC audit would require that or (3) what we call a "user"...that is he pays "rent" to the gym, you pay him directly -- again he would generally be required to carry his own WC insurance and may have no EPL insurance.

        So I would make sure and understand that relationship....just so it doesn't get caught up in your insurance.
        Last edited by hr for me; 08-07-2012, 07:45 AM.

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