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May 21, 2020

A recent ruling from Kentucky Court of Appeals has held that corporations and partnerships can no longer defend themselves at unemployment hearings without legal representation. In Nichols v. Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled KRS §341.470(3) as unconstitutional, as it permits non-attorney representatives to engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

KRS §341.470(3) previously permitted corporations and partnerships to represent themselves pro se or to hire non-attorney representatives for unemployment hearings. The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling that KRS §341.470(3) violates the Kentucky Constitution means corporations and partnerships may no longer engage in this practice. As of April 26, 2019, corporations and partnerships must hire attorney representatives for all unemployment hearings. Further, going forward, corporations and partnerships may not appear pro se for unemployment hearings. This ruling does not affect previous hearings held before April 26, 2019, so no retroactive action is required.

We will monitor the status of this case, and in the event the ruling is appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court, an update will be provided.

If you have any questions, or need to schedule counsel for an upcoming hearing, please give us a call.

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