Sailing instructor denies worker status after job injury

Instructor claimed sport industry was exempt from workers’ compensation regime so he was free to sue after serious injury
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

A Saskatchewan sailing instructor who lost a hand from an accident loading a sailboat was exempt from workers’ compensation, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board has ruled.

Logan Campbell, 24, was a part-time sailing instructor for the Saskatchewan Sailing Clubs Association (SSCA) in the summer of 2006. Campbell was a university student who was training to be on Canada’s national sailing team, and SSCA emailed him to see if he was interested in teaching sailing during the summer. Campbell replied that he couldn’t commit to a fixed schedule because he would be competing in regattas and he didn’t need the income to cover his university expenses. SSCA said it could work around Campbell’s schedule and they could take him on.

Campbell agreed to work as an assistant instructor if SSCA arranged sessions that didn’t conflict with his regatta schedule on a session-by-session basis, but didn’t commit to a set schedule. Though SSCA wanted an official commitment from Campbell to be an instructor, he didn’t provide one and he wasn’t registered on SSCA’s payroll. The only payment SSCA gave to Campbell was a cheque to cover $35 in expenses.