An arbitrator recently awarded 111F benefits to a Sudbury police officer who tore his pectoral muscle while bench-pressing off duty.
The grievant, Ryan Boyd, argued that he injured himself in preparation for a Metro-Lec Metro Star Rapid Response Team (RRT) fitness assessment. Participation in Metro-Lec by a town requires that the participating town pay an annual fee and commit 10% of its force to the unit.
Since Boyd’s participation in the unit provided a benefit to the Town of Sudbury, his position in the unit was contingent on being in good physical shape, and he was instructed by the unit to “keep training” he argued that his injury was “consistent with and helpful to the accomplishment of police functions.”
The Town of Sudbury argued that Boyd was not being paid, was not on call, and that his weightlifting was not in the performance of his duties. Their position was that physical fitness was akin to a “trait or characteristic” such as mental skill, logic, or communication skill. The Town also stated that Boyd’s past history of physical fitness showed that it was a “hobby” and not something he undertook specifically to improve his performance as a police officer.
Because Boyd was instructed by the RRT to “keep training”, good to excellent physical fitness was necessary for participation in the unit, and the unit provided a recognized benefit to Sudbury the arbitrator ruled in favor of Boyd and the union, stating that his injury “arose out of and in the course of his employment”.
For the entire report go to: Town of Sudbury and Sudbury Police Association MCOP Local 370