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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Union Workers in Missouri?


In Missouri, being a member of a workers’ union generally does not affect an employee’s ability to receive and negotiate for workers’ comp benefits.

Being a unionized employee in Missouri comes with many benefits, including better pay, job security, and more control of your shifts and working hours. However, are union employees covered by workers’ comp? And if so, how does workers’ compensation work for union employees?

union worker in missouri

Does Missouri Workers’ Comp Cover Union Employees?

In Missouri, being a member of a workers’ union does not affect an employee’s ability to receive and negotiate for workers’ comp benefits. So to answer the question, yes, Missouri workers’ comp generally covers union employees. But union workers’ comp for union employees differs from that of non-union employees. Here’s how.

  • Union employees are more likely to receive their workers’ comp benefits faster than ordinary employees.
  • There’s usually a collective agreement between the trade union and an employer that specifies the workers’ comp benefits the employee should receive if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. 
  • Unionized employees may also receive additional support and benefits from their respective unions to cover their injuries.

Note: Just because you’re a union worker doesn’t mean your claim will automatically be accepted. You will still need to support your claim with convincing evidence. And even then, your employers’ insurance company may still be reluctant to give you a fair settlement. That’s why it is recommended that you speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney before you file your claim or speak to the insurance company. 

Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cover Unionized Independent Contractors?

No, independent contractors are generally not covered under Missouri’s workers’ comp laws. But you should never assume you cannot receive workers’ comp benefits even if you’re an independent contractor. Some companies have insurance coverage for independent contractors. The surest way to know if your employment status is covered is to look at your employers’ workers’ comp insurance plan. 

It’s also worth noting that your employer may have improperly classified you as an independent employee to avoid paying you workers’ compensation. So it’s advisable to go through your job description carefully to make sure you’re indeed an independent contractor. You may not be an independent contractor if:

  • You receive a weekly or monthly wage 
  • You’re not free to work for other clients 
  • You’re not free to subcontract out some of the work to others 
  • You’re not free to complete projects at your own discretion 
  • You’re not allowed to work off-site and are required to work during established hours

Speak With a St. Louis Workers’ Comp Attorney

While trade unions generally work in the workers’ best interest, your employer or their insurer might be reluctant to pay you workers’ compensation benefits. For this reason, you will benefit from the help of an experienced St. Louis workers’ comp attorney. An attorney can help you file and gather evidence to support your claim. And fight to get you the compensation you are legally entitled to.

At the Law Office of James M. Hoffman, we have over 30 years of experience helping injured Missouri workers obtain the compensation they are legally entitled to. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

Updated: July 20, 2021
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