Your Rights While Working in Missouri
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at Work in Missouri
If you are injured at work, Missouri law requires that you provide written notice to your employer within 30 days of the date of injury. For occupational disease cases and repetitive trauma injury, written notice should be provided within 30 days of the diagnosis of your condition. Your written notice should include the date, time, and place of where the injury occurred; the nature of the injury; and your name and address. The website for the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation contains an online form that can be used to report an injury to your employer. The failure to provide the required notice to your employer regarding your work injury may jeopardize your rights to receive benefits under Missouri’s Workers’ Compensation law. However, the failure to provide notice to your employer will not always prevent you from pursuing a claim or receiving benefits if you can show that your employer was not prejudiced by the failure to receive notice. It is important to note that providing notice to your employer is NOT the same as filing a Claim for Compensation. The failure to file a Claim for Compensation with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation within the time required by law will forever bar a claim.
What Injuries Are covered Under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law?
For an injury to be covered under Missouri’s statute, the injury must arise out of and in the course of one’s employment. Further, the work accident must be the “prevailing factor,” or primary factor, in causing both the resulting medical condition and disability. The Missouri Workers’ Compensation statute covers occupational diseases as well. For an assessment of your claim, you should consider consulting a Missouri attorney in the St. Louis area who is experienced in workers’ compensation cases. He or she can discuss with you your rights while working in Missouri.
Can I Be Fired for Getting Hurt on the Job?
The Missouri Workers’ Compensation statute (Sec. 287.780 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri) provides that, “No employer or agent shall discharge or in any way discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his rights under this chapter. Any employee who has been discharged or discriminated against shall have a civil action for damages against his employer.”
Though you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, that does not mean you are completely protected. For example, you may still be terminated from your job for misconduct on the job, just as you could at any time, regardless of injury status. The statute also is not an absolute guarantee of continued employment. If, for example, you are physically unable to perform your job duties after your medical treatment has been completed, you may be terminated from employment for that reason.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help you get fair, just compensation for your claim, including necessary treatment and payment for time off work.