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Compensability for Injury that Occurred while Undergoing Pre-Employment Physical

Hamilton v. Kenco Logistics Services, LLC (Mar. 8, 2016)

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Tennessee recently affirmed the trial court’s finding that an employee’s injury that occurred while she was undergoing a pre-employment physical did not occur in the course and scope of her employment.

In this case, the employee was working for Kenco at the GSK facility in Knox County, Tennessee.  In 2014, the employee learned that another company, Genco, would be taking over the contract to operate the facility.  Genco offered Kenco employees the opportunity to stay on at the facility, if they met certain requirements.  One of the requirements was a pre-employment physical.

On January 30, 2015, the employee appeared for a pre-employment physical at an off-site medical facility.  She was still a Kenco employee at the time, but was not on the clock when she went for the physical.  During the course of the physical, the employee lifted a 50 pound box.  She reported suffering a lumbar injury.

Following the decision in Blankenship v. Am. Ordinance Sys., the Court held that several factors were used to determine whether the injury arose out of an in the course of employment, including (1) whether the test was voluntary; (2) whether the employee was compensated by the employer for taking the test, (3) whether the test was a condition of continued employment; and, (4) whether the injury resulted from a hazard peculiar to the employment.

Applying those factors, the Court held that the employee in this case underwent the physical exam for the purpose of working for a different employer (Genco), she was not compensated by her employer, Kenco, for attending the physical exam, the medical facility where the exam took place was not on Kenco’s premises, the physical did not further the business of Kenco, and she was not performing work for Kenco at the time of the physical.

For more information about Tennessee Workers’ Compensation, contact Katy Beth Carr at kbcarr@carrallison.com or Sean Martin at swmartin@carrallison.com.

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