Why are the Waiver of Liability and Release agreements important?
The University sponsors a wide variety of optional travel, recreational, cultural, educational, physical, and other activities for members of the University community and public. Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Release Agreements help ensure participants fully understand and appreciate the risks associated with these activities, and serve to mitigate liability risk to the University. Departments are encouraged to carefully evaluate whether Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Release Agreements should be used in connection with events or activities hosted, sponsored, or affiliated with the department.
University Police should be called immediately regarding any injury or damage to property (Business 805-756-2281). In an emergency, dial 911.
Questions regarding the activities, safety, insurance and/or this form should be directed to University Risk Management.
The Waiver of Liability form and language has been reviewed and approved by University Legal Counsel and University Risk Management for use by the University to inform potential participants of risks involved in participation in specific activities and to contractually transfer the responsibility for those risks to the participant in exchange for allowing their participation.
What Activities Require a Waiver of Liability and Release Agreement?
Waiver of Liability and Releases are required for all campus planned or sponsored events, on and off campus, and based on a risk assessment. Waiver of Liability and Releases are required for all academic field trips. Waiver of Liability and Releases are required for participants when third-party groups rent facilities on University property.
Should Members of the Public Who Participate in University Sponsored Activities be Required to Sign Releases?
Members of the public who participate in any University sponsored activities that are subject to personal injury or property loss should sign a Waiver of Liability form. For any activity where sports or physical activities are involved or which presents a danger to the participant, Waiver of Liability and Releases are required.
How Long Should I Keep a Waiver of Liability and Release?
The department sponsoring the activity must keep releases for at least three years after the activity ends. Waiver of Liability and Releases signed by a parent or guardian on behalf of a minor must be retained for at least three years after the activity ends or until the minor turns 20, whichever is longer.
How Should I Store the Waiver of Liability and Release?
A Waiver of Liability and Release is not invalidated by the passage of time, however the University must keep the document in order to assert it as evidence in a later claim or lawsuit. For this reason, organization and safe storage of releases are very important. Waiver of Liability and Releases should be stored by the sponsoring department by activity date in alphabetical order by name of participant. This greatly expedites retrieval if a release is needed for a legal proceeding. If space becomes a problem, releases can be microfilmed or stored electronically in lieu of the signed original.
What Should I Do if Someone Attempts to Modify the Waiver of Liability and Release?
Occasionally someone signs the Waiver of Liability and Release after crossing out certain portions that they do not like or adding words to modify the release. You must not accept an altered Waiver of Liability and Release.
What Should I Do if a Student Refuses to Sign the Waiver of Liability and Release?
If the student refuses to sign a proper Waiver of Liability and Release form to participate in a high-risk, non-required, non-academic activity, the student should be denied the right to participate. However, if the student refuses to sign a Waiver of Liability and Release to participate in a “required” academic activity, the instructor should note the refusal on the form, indicate that the student has been advised of the risks involved and permit the student to participate.
Can Multiple People Sign the Same Waiver of Liability and Release?
No, there must be a Waiver of Liability and Release form for each individual involved in the activity. Special arrangements can be made for activities where individual Waiver of Liability and Releases are not feasible by contacting Risk Management.
What if I Want to Change or Add Something to the Waiver of Liability and Release?
Executive Order 1051 does not allow for the Waiver of Liability and Release to be changed. The EO defines how Waiver of Liability and Releases should be printed, including their layout and font size. For this reason, do not change the format of the release in any way. Waiver of Liability and Releases cannot be included as the “fine print” in a larger publication such as a brochure. They must be printed or viewed as a separate document. This separation makes it harder for participants to claim later on that they didn't know what they were signing.
Do all Registered Student Organization Events have to sign a Waiver of Liability and Release?
No. Every RSO event is different and the event coordinators will be instructed to complete the Waiver of Liability and Release forms through the Cal Poly Now Risk Assessment process.
Do Guest Speakers have to sign a Waiver of Liability and Release?
No. Most guest speakers do not have to sign a Waiver of Liability and Release if they are only speaking in a classroom setting. If the Guest speaker has signed a contract, is a guest in a lab setting or performing a demonstration, then a Waiver of Liability and Release is required.
What if the Participant is a Minor?
A parent or guardian must sign the form if the participant is a minor. Because the participant's parent or guardian signs the Waiver of Liability and Release, there is no need to also have the participant sign the form.
What if the Participant Does Not Speak or Read English?
There is no legal requirement to provide Releases in languages other than English. In general, California courts have held that English-language releases signed by adults who cannot read English are valid. The Chancellor's office has provided Waiver of Liability and Release forms in the following languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Korean. These forms should only be provided to individuals who are not students or employees of the CSU. The English form must be attached to the translated form. Contact Risk Management for a copy.
May the Waiver of Liability and Release be Consented to Electronically?
Yes. Participants over the age of 18 may consent electronically. Minors under the age of 18 are required to have the Waiver of Liability and Release physically signed by a parent/guardian.
Does the Waiver of Liability and Release have to Provide Specific Information About the Types of Risks Associated with the Activity?
General release language informs the participant of the types of losses that may occur. If you would like to provide further information about the risks associated with the activity, you may do so as long as that information is presented separately from the Waiver of Liability and Release.
Should a Volunteer Sign a Waiver of Liability and Release Before Volunteering?
No, individuals designated as University volunteers are covered under the CSU's General Liability and Workers' Compensation programs as long as they have been processed through the use of the Human Resources' procedures. For this reason, they do not sign Waiver of Liability and Releases prior to volunteering. For this same reason, employees acting within the course and scope of their employment do not sign Waiver of Liability and Releases.
What if the Person is Traveling on University Business?
Employees do not sign Waiver of Liability and Releases while traveling for University Business. Students who are unpaid and not employed by the University must sign Waiver of Liability and Releases for all voluntary travel with the University. Students traveling for any voluntary reason must sign a Waiver of Liability and Release.
What Happens if a Waiver of Liability and Release is Not Used?
By using a Waiver of Liability and Release, you are being good stewards of the CSU's resources by providing a defense in the event of a claim or lawsuit. The Chancellor has recommended the use of Waiver of Liability and Releases. Failure to use them may subject an individual campus or department to increased scrutiny or liability losses
What are the Basic Elements of a Waiver of Liability and Release?
The elements of a basic Waiver of Liability and Release are:
1. A release of liability and waiver of the right to sue if any loss results from participation in the activity.
2. An express assumption of risk where the participant acknowledges understanding the nature of the activity and the risks involved, and chooses voluntarily to accept those risks.
3. A hold harmless agreement where the participant agrees not to hold the CSU responsible for any loss that may result from participation in the activity.
4. An indemnification where the participant agrees to pay the CSU for any losses it may suffer as a result of the participant's participation in the activity.
5. A medical consent in which the participant agrees to be responsible for his/her own medical expenses that may result.