Important Changes to Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Keeping up to date with Missouri’s workers’ compensation law is one of the most important issues for anyone doing business in the state. A company that fails to comply with workers’ compensation law will be subjected to serious penalties, including fines and criminal sanctions. This post covers the most recent developments in Missouri workers’ compensation law.

Missouri Workers’ Compensation Overview

Workers’ compensation pays for medical treatment and lost time benefits for employees who are injured on the job. Missouri employers with five or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, some businesses do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, such as:

  • Sole proprietors and partners
  • Corporations with no more than two owners (where the owners are the only employees)
  • Recognized religious sects
  • Domestic workers in private homes
  • Some real estate agents and direct sellers
  • Some unpaid volunteers, inmates, and people working for amateur youth programs.

Notice of Injury

When an employee is injured in a work-related accident, the employee must give the employer written notice of their injury within 30 days after the accident or “after the diagnosis of any occupational disease or repetitive trauma.”

Additionally, employees must formally ask their employer to provide medical treatment. This section of the law was changed because some employees interpreted the law to mean they should obtain medical treatment without notifying their employer about their injury.

Medical Treatment

An employer and/or their insurance carrier must pay for medical treatment and care that is “reasonably required” after a person’s injury, including some travel expenses. This section of the law was changed to reflect that employers and insurance carriers are not required to provide treatment that would be considered unreasonable.

Misrepresenting an Employee’s Job Classification

An employer cannot knowingly misrepresent an employee’s job classification or any other fact to obtain insurance at less than the proper rate. Any employer who deliberately misrepresents a job classification could be charged with a class A misdemeanor.

An employer who knowingly makes a false or fraudulent statement regarding an employee’s entitlement to benefits to discourage the worker from making a legitimate claim is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Any employer who knowingly makes a false or fraudulent material statement or material representation to deny benefits to a worker is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.

Survivors’ Benefits

The Missouri workers’ compensation notice now says that if an employee dies on the job, or dies because of an on-the-job accident, the worker’s family are eligible for survivor’s benefits.

Missouri’s old workers’ compensation poster simply stated that if a worker died on the job, their surviving family may be paid benefits. The language was changed to make it clear that survivor’s benefits are payable in all cases where the on-the-job injury led to the worker’s death.

Rate Change

In December of 2018, the Missouri Department of Insurance recommended a 3.5 percent decrease in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2019. The downward trend in compensation rates is expected to continue in 2020.

QR Code

The updated Missouri workers’ compensation poster now has a QR Code. employees can scan the QR Code for additional information about workers’ compensation. The code will direct the employee to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation website.

Notice Date: 9/2019
Suggested Post Date: ASAP

Order the Complete Missouri Poster with these latest updates to stay compliant with state labor laws. Labor Law Center continually monitors local, state and federal posting requirements and has been helping thousands of businesses maintain compliance since 1999.

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