The answer, as the Kentucky Supreme Court, recently stated once again is it depends. This is a case-by-case issue.
In Hanik v. Christopher & Banks, the injured employee, Kim Hanik, slipped on "black ice" in the parking lot where she worked. The store where Hanik worked was located in a shopping center that had two lots, a front and a back. The back lot was used mostly by employees of the various stores, although customers could use it. In reality, customers rarely used the back lot, because it would necessitate a long walk around the buildings, while the employees could enter their stores through their backdoors that faced the back lot. Nevertheless, the Kentucky Supreme Court by a 4-3 split ruled that the parking lot where Hanik fell was not part of her workplace for purposes of Kentucky workers compensation.
Under Kentucky workers compensation law there are four factors used to determine whether a parking lot should be considered part of the workplace:
(1) whether the employer, either directly or indirectly, owns, maintains, or controls the parking facility or a portion thereof;
(2) whether the employer designated where in the parking facility its employees are to park;
(3) whether the employee parked in the designated area; and
(4) whether the employee was taking a reasonable path from his/her car to his/her work station when injured.
The workers compensation ALJ will make the fact finding on this, so the evidence at the hearing is critical.
Lexington, Kentucky workers compensation lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in claims for Kentucky workers compensation benefits; contact him at 859-254-7076.