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28 Apr

April 2021 Kentucky HR Legal Updates

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Kentucky Passes Liability Shield Legislation

Update Applicable to:
All Kentucky employers.

What happened?
On April 11, 2021, Senate Bill 5 went into effect, due to the inaction of Governor Beshear.

What are the details?
Senate Bill 5 does not provide protections for businesses or individuals that act in a malicious or grossly negligent manner, or intentionally ignore executive orders or guidelines relating to a declared emergency. This provides an additional incentive for businesses and individuals to follow federal and state guidelines and recommendations pertaining to COVID-19, such as guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – doing so will help shield your business from potential liability. Senate Bill 5 also provides that, to the extent a claim for personal injury is made against a business or individual for injuries arising from a declared emergency, such claim must be filed within one year after the injury is first discovered.

Senate Bill 5 also protects essential businesses and individuals from liability, absent willful, gross negligence, or intentional misconduct, from any death of or injury to an individual or damage to property resulting from an act or omission related to the provision of an essential service. Such protection would be afforded during the period from when an emergency is declared until one year after the emergency declaration is withdrawn, revoked, or lapses.

It is worth noting that Senate Bill 5 does not provide protection to employers from injury claims made by their employees. Meaning that workers’ compensation is unaffected by the bill.

Senate Bill 5 can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should continue following COVID-19-related guidance from local and federal regulators to take advantage of this legislation.