Interviewer: What if an employee has an injury and then quits the job? Does the employer still have to report the injury even if the employee has quit?
Kevin Roach: If you're injured at work there is nothing that requires you to stay with your employer. Maybe the work environment is not good and you just don't want to work for these people any more. There's nothing to stop you from that. You still have a valid workers comp claim in Missouri.
If You Quit, You May Not Be Eligible for the Temporary Total Disability
HOWEVER, if you quit, you would not be entitled to any Temporary Total Disability benefits. Let's say you're eligible, the doctor says you're able to go back to light duty and you don't want to do light duty and you quit. That means you're not going to receive any pay from your employer.
A lot of times, employers don't have light duty available. If they don't have light duty available, you normally get Temporary Total Disability checks. If you quit you would not receive those Temporary Total Disability payments. But there is nothing that requires an employee to stay with that employer if you are injured there.
Hiring Contractors: Are Homeowners Responsible for Employees Injured While Working at Their Residences?
Interviewer: If someone has hired someone to work for them at their home, is the homeowner going to be held liable if the contractor gets injured?
If a Worker Is Injured Due to the Homeowner’s Negligence, a Claim Would Be Filed against Their Homeowner’s Insurance
Kevin Roach: It depends on the situation. If a contractor is at an individual’s residence working for a company that has workers comp coverage, then no, the homeowner is not going to be responsible.
However, a homeowner would be liable in a situation if the homeowner cut a hole in the floor that was highly dangerous and they didn't tell the contractor that there was a hole in the floor and subsequently the worker walked over and fell through this floor and broke his neck. This would be a claim against their homeowner's insurance. That would be considered a third-party claim for negligence against the homeowner. As a general rule, unless the homeowner engages in some sort of gross negligence or misconduct, the homeowner would not be responsible to an injured worker as long as that worker or the employer has workers comp coverage on that employee.
It Is Advisable to Verify Any Contractor You Hire Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance
I see this scenario on a semi-regular basis where the contractor doesn’t have work comp coverage, and maybe they slip on the ice and they fall and hurt themselves. If there wasn't any negligence, then they could make a claim against the homeowner on their med pay of their homeowner's policy.
Under that scenario, it is more than likely that there would not be any negligence against the homeowner. As a general rule, people would want to check to make sure that any contractor they use is reputable and has work comp coverage; otherwise, they could possibly open themselves up to some sort of claim against their policy, whether legit or not.
Employers That Do Not Carry Workers Compensation Insurance Can Be Sued Civilly
Interviewer: What about a sole proprietor of an unincorporated business, do they have to provide workers comp for themselves?
Kevin Roach: If the employer has less than five employees, they don't have to have coverage in Missouri. It would depend on whether that sole proprietor has five or more employees. If they have more than five employees and you don't have coverage then that employer can be sued civilly for any damages that may have resulted to the injured worker.