Small businesses are vital to the United States economy. They sell products and services that we need every day while employing our family and friends. According to the Small Business Administration, there were around 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2017, making up a large percentage of all business done in the states.
While small businesses are essential to our economy, small business owners can lack the resources and infrastructure that larger companies do. Unfortunately, this may lead to budgetary decisions that aren’t good for the business or employees.
One of these areas is workers’ compensation insurance. A small business owner may think that with a limited number of employees, they can keep better tabs on safety and working conditions. However, injuries can occur in an instant or develop over time without the proper equipment. If you work for an uninsured employer, you may find yourself with medical bills and no steady income. You may ask, “do small business owners need workers’ compensation insurance?”
Small business employers are responsible for the working conditions of their business and need to be held accountable. If you’ve been injured while working for a small business, keep reading to learn more.
Workers’ Comp for Small Businesses: Missouri Requirements?
The two general workers’ compensation insurance requirements for Missouri are:
- If an employer has five or more employees, they are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
- If an employer has one or more employees in the construction industry, they must carry workers’ compensation.
What If I’m a Family Member or a Part-Time Worker?
Part-time workers are always a part of the employee count. Employers should include family members if they are part of a group of five or more workers. In most circumstances, you should be covered by a workers’ compensation policy.
Another exception for insurance is workers’ comp for sole proprietors or partnerships. If you are the sole proprietor or co-owner of a business and don’t have any employees, you aren’t required to self-insure.
Independent contractors in the transportation industry must also self-insure, as they aren’t considered employees.
When Am I Considered an Employee?
When it comes to a small business, lines can be blurred when it comes to your employment status. You may be helping out a friend or family member with some seasonal work. You are considered an “employee” if you perform work or service for an employer, regardless of your relationship. “Employment” is when you are employed, engaged or hired to perform work or services.
Are Employers Still Responsible for Employee Injuries If They Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If you work for an employer exempt from purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, you are still entitled to compensation. Employers who are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance requirements are open to civil lawsuits.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured and My Employer Isn’t Insured?
Notify Your Employer of the Injury
Regardless of your employer’s insurance status, you need to notify them of your injury as soon as possible. Then, your employer should report the injury to the Missouri Department of Workers’ Compensation for review within 30 days of your initial report.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An excellent attorney can use their knowledge in court or negotiation skills out of court to deliver fair compensation.
To get in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, contact Tolbert Beadle today. Want more information about workers’ compensation? Check out the workers’ comp service page to learn more.