The Missouri Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday, Feb. 9,
on a bill that would overhaul the state’s workers’ compensation system.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Loudon, R-Ballwin,
includes a provision that would remove what it classifies as owner-operators
from workers’ compensation coverage.
Independent owner-operators who own their own equipment are
already exempt from workers’ compensation benefits in the state. The provision
would expand the definition of owner-operators who are currently exempt to
include lease-purchase operators and lease drivers who have no ownership
interest in the equipment they operate.
It would also wipe out previous allegations of workers’ compensation violations from employers, including motor carriers.
Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, is expected to introduce
an amendment during floor debate Wednesday to remove the language relating to
owner-operators from the bill.
The owner-operator provision originally was included in
SB130. That bill, however, was combined with Loudon’s bill – SB1 – prior to its
passage out of committee.
The bill would limit the number of workers eligible for
compensation. It tightens the definition of a workplace injury by requiring
work to be “the prevailing factor” for the injury instead of “a substantial
factor.” It also requires workers to provide “objective relevant findings” to
prove their injury. Also, people traveling to and from work in a company-owned
or subsidized vehicle would no longer be eligible for compensation under the
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,
representing more than 4,500 Missouri-based professional drivers, is
encouraging its members to contact their senators about the proposal.
To read OOIDA’s Call to Action alert for Missouri members,