Rahla v. Medical Center at Bowling Green, No. 2013-CA-001712-WC (Ky.App. 2014): Injuries sustained by job candidates during pre-employment activities are not compensable.
In Rahla, a Kentucky Court of Appeals decision to be published, the Court considered the case of Michelle Rahla who was injured during a post-job-offer physical examination. The physical examination included physical activity consisting of lifting weights ranging from 10 to 61 pounds. Rahla injured her neck during the examination and thereafter officially began her employment with the Medical Center. She eventually required surgery for the neck injury, but the claim was denied on the grounds she was not an employee at the time of the injury. The ALJ dismissed the claim and the Workers’ Compensation Board as well as the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Rahla was “not in the service of, under any contract of hire with, or performing any service in the trade, business, profession, or occupation of, the Medical Center.” The Court distinguished the facts of this case from Hubbard v. Henry, 231 S.W.3d 124 (Ky. 2007) where the claimant was injured actually performing work for the employer on a trial basis prior to the official hiring.