Missouri Independent Contractors laws & compensation compliance analysis

Missouri Independent Contractors: What you need to know

Whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” is critical when it comes to such important issues as pension eligibility, workers' compensation coverage, wage and hour laws, and many other matters. In some situations, federal law will govern, but the question is most often resolved by looking to state law, particularly in areas such as unemployment tax liability, workers' compensation, and state wage and hour requirements.
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Under Missouri law, a person who does work under contract on the employer's premises is deemed to be covered by workers' compensation along with the person's subcontractors and their employees when injured on or about the premises of the employer while doing work which is in the usual course of the employer's business. This provision doe not apply to independent contractors doing construction or demolition work on the premises (MO Rev. Stat. Sec. 287.040).
The Missouri Supreme Court has defined an independent contractor as "one who, exercising an independent employment, contracts to do a piece of work according to his own methods, without being subject to the control of his employer, except as to the result of his work" (Vaseleou v. St. Louis Realty & Securities Co., 344 Mo. 1121 (1939)). The pivotal question in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship is whether the employer had the right to control the means and manner of the service, as distinguished from controlling the ultimate results of the service (Dawson v. Home Interiors & Gifts, Inc., 890 S.W.2d 747 (Mo. App. W.D., 1995)). There are several factors that must be examined in order to determine whether a right to control existed, ...

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