Yesterday, the Tennessee Legislature enacted a new law that will allow employers of agricultural laborers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance policies for their employees. The legislation was passed under Senate Bill 2141 and signed into law by Governor Haslam on April 2, 2018.
The Bill amends Tennessee Code Annotated §50-6-106(4) by deleting the current provision that excluded agricultural laborers from workers’ compensation coverage. The new version allows employers of farm or agricultural laborers to accept the WC Act by purchasing a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Additionally, employers are allowed to withdraw that acceptance by canceling or not renewing that policy and providing notice to their employees. The provision requiring notice to employees is important because an employer could conceivably be liable for an injury if the employer cancelled a policy or allowed it to lapse and did not provide notice to the employee.