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Kentucky: Worker at Horse Farm Was an “Agricultural” Employee Who Could Not Recover Benefits

May 22, 2021 (1 min read)

Finding that all of the employee’s work for her employer, whether mowing or cleaning, was performed as part of the overall effort of all the employees to restore a farm to its operation as a fully functioning horse farm, the Supreme Court of Kentucky reversed a decision by a divided Court of Appeals that had found the worker was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits following an injury because she was not an exempted agricultural worker under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 342.650(5) and 342.0011(18). The Court of Appeals had affirmed a decision by the state Board that found that although the employer was an agricultural employer, the claimant was not an agricultural employee. The Supreme Court stressed that the definition of “agriculture” was intentionally broad. Accordingly, it was necessary to look at the “whole character” of an individual’s employment to determine if the person was employed in agriculture. Agreeing with the dissent in the Court of Appeals decision, the high court said the “whole character” of claimant’s work pointed to her being characterized as an agricultural employee.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Brownwood Prop., LLC v. Thornton, 2021 Ky. LEXIS 128 (Apr. 29, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 75.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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