You may have heard many myths about workers’ compensation, but Fox, Goldblatt & Singer PC is here to dispel those myths and present the facts about workers’ comp coverage in St. Louis, throughout Missouri and beyond.
MYTH: For a construction company to be required to carry workers’ comp insurance, it has to employ five or more workers.
FACT: While it is true that most companies require at least five employees before they are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance, the construction industry is exempt. Any construction company that has at least one employee is required to carry insurance that is approved by the Department of Insurance, the Financial Institutions and Professional Registration or an insurer that meets the Division of Workers’ Compensation requirements for self-insurance.
MYTH: I can still file a lawsuit against my employer if I am covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
FACT: Part of the benefit of workers’ compensation for employers is that it protects them against civil lawsuits. If an employee is injured at work and they receive workers’ compensation coverage, then they are no longer able to bring a civil lawsuit against their employer. They may, however, be able to bring a civil lawsuit against some third party.
MYTH: Workers’ compensation insurance does not protect my family members.
FACT: According to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation, “family members of sole proprietors and partners are covered unless they are specifically excluded on an endorsement.”
MYTH: Volunteer workers are never entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.
FACT: While workers’ compensation law does not require employers to purchase workers’ comp coverage for their volunteers, it does allow for it. While this may be rare, employers may choose to purchase this coverage for non-paid, volunteer-based employees.
MYTH: Subcontractors do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance or proof of coverage.
FACT: Missouri law requires both sole proprietors and partners to elect for personal workers’ comp insurance (self-insured) when contractors need to provide proof of insurance coverage. If a subcontractor is uninsured, the general contractor could become liable for injuries and accidents.
MYTH: You can withdraw a complaint if you file one with the Fraud and Noncompliance Unit.
FACT: According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, once you file a complaint there is no way to withdraw that complaint. These complaints are typically filed when people believe some sort of criminal violation is happening. Once the fraud unit receives a complaint, they are required to follow through with the investigation.