Are Actors and Artists Covered by Workers Compensation?

If you are an actor or an artist and got injured while performing, it’s understandable if you’re not sure what to do.

st. louis actor on stage

Workers’ compensation laws are meant to protect workers in Missouri. Should a worker get hurt or ill, as long as their condition is directly linked to their work, their medical treatment should generally be covered by workers’ compensation.

However, not everyone is covered under these laws. Case in point: actors and artists. Are you covered?

The Answer Is: It Depends

Missouri workers’ compensation laws, just like the ones in other states, don’t apply to any type of worker. For instance, only businesses or companies with five or more employees are legally obligated to have this coverage. For the rest, they can choose not to. Other sectors, like religious institutions or workers covered by federal laws (like railroad workers), are also excluded.

For actors and other artists, the law does not specify whether or not they should have workers’ compensation or not. It’s important to consider the type of employment to see if they fall under the categories that should have these benefits.

For instance, if you are employed by a theatre company with more than five employees, then your employer legally has to offer workers compensation. It doesn’t matter if you’re a part-time or full-time employee – the law is applicable either way.

However, many actors and artists may not be considered employees in the legal sense. They may fall under the freelance form of employment, in which case workers’ comp laws do not apply. Freelancers and independent contractors are excluded from workers comp laws because they are considered to be self-employed and have more autonomy than regular employees.

Ask Your Employer

Even if you fall under a category that isn’t legally required to offer workers comp benefits, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have it. You should ask the producer, employer, or supervisor if you do, just to be sure.

Many employers choose to carry workers comp insurance because it can also protect them in case something goes wrong. If you get injured and get compensated for workers comp, your medical issues are being addressed, and the employer is protected against any further legal actions against them.

What Should You Do?

If you are an actor or an artist and got injured while performing, it’s understandable if you’re not sure what to do. Your best option is to reach out to a St. Louis work injury lawyer who can review your case and advise the best legal action. If it turns out you are not covered by these state benefits, your lawyer can help you pursue other legal actions that could provide some financial support to help you get through this ordeal. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: October 25, 2019