Employee Indemnification Policy



Policy Statement
(Faculty Manual 3.24)

Syracuse University shall furnish an employee of the University with legal defense through legal counsel selected by the University and with payment of judgments, fines, penalties, settlements and any other expenses actually and reasonably incurred in connection with an actual or threatened civil, criminal, administrative or investigative action, claim, or proceeding (an “Action”) brought against such employee by reason of being an employee of the University or serving at the University’s request as a member of or representative to an entity outside the University.

Defense and/or payment under this Policy shall be available only if all of the following conditions are met to the satisfaction of the University, in its sole discretion:

  • The employee’s actions or omissions were within the scope of his or her University duties and authority.
  • The employee’s actions or omissions were in good faith, and in a manner reasonably believed to be lawful and in the best interests of the University.
  • The acts or omissions did not constitute dishonesty, gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct, or the intentional infliction of harm, and the employee did not receive any financial profit or advantage to which he/she was not legally entitled. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, an employee’s intentional infliction of harm in protecting life or safety, in furtherance of security, or under similar circumstances shall not be grounds for denying him or her the benefits of this policy, provided that (a) such actions are reasonably believed by the employee to be permitted by applicable law and University policies, procedures and protocols, and (b) all other requirements of this policy are met.
  • The original or a copy of any summons, complaint, notice, demand, letter, or other document or pleading in the Action, or a writing setting forth the substance of any claim, complaint or charge made orally, was delivered to the University’s Risk Management Department (or in cases involving employment practices, to the Office of Human Resources) within seven days after receipt of such document, oral claim, complaint, or charge, with a specific request in writing that the University represent the employee.
  • The employee cooperates continuously and fully with the University in the defense of the Action.
  • The University shall have the right to control the defense of the Action, including the right, in its sole discretion, to decide whether or not to settle the Action, and if so, the terms of the settlement.

The protection in this Policy shall not extend to:

  • Consulting or other outside professional or business activities for which the employee or an entity with which he or she is affiliated is entitled to receive compensation exceeding reasonable expenses from a party other than the University.
  • Acts or omissions while an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence from the University.
  • Actions that an employee may affirmatively initiate or propose initiating against any other person or entities.
  • Any action to the extent that the damage or loss is indemnifiable under any insurance which is in force and covers the employee.
  • Members of a collective bargaining unit at the University, except to the extent that indemnification rights have been incorporated into a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Trustees or officers of the University.
  • Any indemnification prohibited by law.

The benefits of this Policy shall not enlarge the rights, which would have been available to any third party plaintiff or claimant in the absence of this Policy.Syracuse University reserves the right to change or withdraw this Policy in its sole discretion, except as to claims based on acts or omissions, which occurred before the change or withdrawal of the Policy. Notice of any change or withdrawal shall be published in a publication of general circulation at the University.

Policy Administration

Date: October 4, 1991
Date: January 6, 2014