Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/26/1994 01:40 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SENATOR KELLY announced  HB 277  (INDEMNIFICATION OF PUBLIC                   
 EMPLOYEES) to be up for consideration.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said HB 277 provides codification for             
 state policy and for policy that exists in many other                         
 municipalities.  It provides indemnification for public employees             
 who, acting within the scope of their employment, omitted to                  
 perform something or performed something negligently and were sued.           
 It will not indemnify an employee for gross negligence nor will it            
 provide indemnification for punitive damages.                                 
 He said HB 277 is supported by the Peace Officers Association, the            
 Chiefs Association, and the Municipality of Anchorage.                        
 SENATOR RIEGER asked about the exemption if an employee has been              
 terminated.  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the action of terminating             
 an employee to avoid the liability is covered in the bill,                    
 SENATOR RIEGER asked if he would object to that wording if it were            
 removed.  REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he wouldn't have a problem               
 with that.                                                                    
 SUSAN COX, Assistant Attorney General, said the State of Alaska has           
 waived its immunity from suit, except in limited circumstances.               
 This bill does not affect any injured parties' ability to sue or              
 collect damages.  This pertains to the person who is being sued and           
 to their ability to have their employer defend them and pay the               
 damages if any are assessed against them.                                     
 SENATOR RIEGER wondered if this was a path to the deep pocket of              
 municipal governments that didn't exist before.                               
 MS. COX said that the public employer is vicariously liable for the           
 acts of its employees anyway.                                                 
 Number 296                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked if part time employees would be covered by              
 this as well as all Boards and Commissions.  MS. COX said the                 
 definition is rather broad.  It does specifically say that it                 
 includes members of Boards and Commissions, although they do not              
 normally consider those employment arrangements.                              
 SENATOR SHARP asked if there were situations where an employee does           
 not notify an employer of a problem caused by his actions and the             
 employer, therefore, would lose the defense through insurance from            
 failure to notify.  MS. COX answered that there are requirements              
 within the bill that the employee has to provide notice of a claim            
 within a certain amount of time if he wants to receive defense.               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects