2006 Kansas Code - 44-501

      44-501.   Employer obligation; burden of proof; defenses; exceptions; legislative intent; benefits reduced for certain retirement benefits. (a) If in any employment to which the workers compensation act applies, personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment is caused to an employee, the employer shall be liable to pay compensation to the employee in accordance with the provisions of the workers compensation act. In proceedings under the workers compensation act, the burden of proof shall be on the claimant to establish the claimant's right to an award of compensation and to prove the various conditions on which the claimant's right depends. In determining whether the claimant has satisfied this burden of proof, the trier of fact shall consider the whole record.

      (b)   Except as provided in the workers compensation act, no employer, or other employee of such employer, shall be liable for any injury for which compensation is recoverable under the workers compensation act nor shall an employer be liable to any third party for any injury or death of an employee which was caused under circumstances creating a legal liability against a third party and for which workers compensation is payable by such employer.

      (c)   The employee shall not be entitled to recover for the aggravation of a preexisting condition, except to the extent that the work-related injury causes increased disability. Any award of compensation shall be reduced by the amount of functional impairment determined to be preexisting.

      (d) (1)   If the injury to the employee results from the employee's deliberate intention to cause such injury; or from the employee's willful failure to use a guard or protection against accident required pursuant to any statute and provided for the employee, or a reasonable and proper guard and protection voluntarily furnished the employee by the employer, any compensation in respect to that injury shall be disallowed.

      (2)   The employer shall not be liable under the workers compensation act where the injury, disability or death was contributed to by the employee's use or consumption of alcohol or any drugs, chemicals or any other compounds or substances, including but not limited to, any drugs or medications which are available to the public without a prescription from a health care provider, prescription drugs or medications, any form or type of narcotic drugs, marijuana, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens. In the case of drugs or medications which are available to the public without a prescription from a health care provider and prescription drugs or medications, compensation shall not be denied if the employee can show that such drugs or medications were being taken or used in therapeutic doses and there have been no prior incidences of the employee's impairment on the job as the result of the use of such drugs or medications within the previous 24 months. It shall be conclusively presumed that the employee was impaired due to alcohol or drugs if it is shown that at the time of the injury that the employee had an alcohol concentration of .04 or more, or a GCMS confirmatory test by quantitative analysis showing a concentration at or above the levels shown on the following chart for the drugs of abuse listed:  

Confirmatory test cutoff levels (ng/ml)

Marijuana metabolite 1.................15

Cocaine metabolite 2.................150




6-Acetylmorphine4.................10 ng/ml




  Methamphetamine 3.................500

1 Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid.

2 Benzoylecgonine.

3 Specimen must also contain amphetamine at a concentration greater than or equal to 200 ng/ml.

4 Test for 6-AM when morphine concentration exceeds 2,000 ng/ml.

An employee's refusal to submit to a chemical test shall not be admissible evidence to prove impairment unless there was probable cause to believe that the employee used, possessed or was impaired by a drug or alcohol while working. The results of a chemical test shall not be admissible evidence to prove impairment unless the following conditions were met:

      (A)   There was probable cause to believe that the employee used, had possession of, or was impaired by the drug or alcohol while working;

      (B)   the test sample was collected at a time contemporaneous with the events establishing probable cause;

      (C)   the collecting and labeling of the test sample was performed by or under the supervision of a licensed health care professional;

      (D)   the test was performed by a laboratory approved by the United States department of health and human services or licensed by the department of health and environment, except that a blood sample may be tested for alcohol content by a laboratory commonly used for that purpose by state law enforcement agencies;

      (E)   the test was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy or other comparably reliable analytical method, except that no such confirmation is required for a blood alcohol sample; and

      (F)   the foundation evidence must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the test results were from the sample taken from the employee.

      (3)   For purposes of satisfying the probable cause requirement of subsection (d)(2)(A) of this section, the employer shall be deemed to have met their burden of proof on this issue by establishing any of the following circumstances:

      (A)   The testing was done as a result of an employer mandated drug testing policy, in place in writing prior to the date of accident, requiring any worker to submit to testing for drugs or alcohol if they are involved in an accident which requires medical attention;

      (B)   the testing was done in the normal course of medical treatment for reasons related to the health and welfare of the injured worker and was not at the direction of the employer; however, the request for GCMS testing for purposes of confirmation, required by subsection (d)(2)(E) of this section, may have been at the employer's request;

      (C)   the worker, prior to the date and time of the accident, gave written consent to the employer that the worker would voluntarily submit to a chemical test for drugs or alcohol following any accident requiring the worker to obtain medical treatment for the injuries suffered. If after suffering an accident requiring medical treatment, the worker refuses to submit to a chemical test for drugs or alcohol, this refusal shall be considered evidence of impairment, however, there must be evidence that the presumed impairment contributed to the accident as required by this section; or

      (D)   the testing was done as a result of federal or state law or a federal or state rule or regulation having the force and effect of law requiring a post accident testing program and such required program was properly implemented at the time of testing.

      (e)   Compensation shall not be paid in case of coronary or coronary artery disease or cerebrovascular injury unless it is shown that the exertion of the work necessary to precipitate the disability was more than the employee's usual work in the course of the employee's regular employment.

      (f)   Except as provided in the workers compensation act, no construction design professional who is retained to perform professional services on a construction project or any employee of a construction design professional who is assisting or representing the construction design professional in the performance of professional services on the site of the construction project, shall be liable for any injury resulting from the employer's failure to comply with safety standards on the construction project for which compensation is recoverable under the workers compensation act, unless responsibility for safety practices is specifically assumed by contract. The immunity provided by this subsection to any construction design professional shall not apply to the negligent preparation of design plans or specifications.

      (g)   It is the intent of the legislature that the workers compensation act shall be liberally construed for the purpose of bringing employers and employees within the provisions of the act to provide the protections of the workers compensation act to both. The provisions of the workers compensation act shall be applied impartially to both employers and employees in cases arising thereunder.

      (h)   If the employee is receiving retirement benefits under the federal social security act or retirement benefits from any other retirement system, program or plan which is provided by the employer against which the claim is being made, any compensation benefit payments which the employee is eligible to receive under the workers compensation act for such claim shall be reduced by the weekly equivalent amount of the total amount of all such retirement benefits, less any portion of any such retirement benefit, other than retirement benefits under the federal social security act, that is attributable to payments or contributions made by the employee, but in no event shall the workers compensation benefit be less than the workers compensation benefit payable for the employee's percentage of functional impairment.

      History:   L. 1927, ch. 232, § 1; L. 1967, ch. 280, § 1; L. 1974, ch. 203, § 1; L. 1975, ch. 258, § 1; L. 1979, ch. 156, § 1; L. 1985, ch. 175, § 1; L. 1987, ch. 187, § 1; L. 1990, ch. 182, § 1; L. 1993, ch. 286, § 24; L. 1996, ch. 79, § 1; L. 2000, ch. 160, § 5; L. 2005, ch. 54, § 1; July 1.

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