Workers’ Compensation bill heads to governor’s desk

Legislation allowing employers to pay more of an employee’s workers compensation claim than is now allowed, breezed through final passage in the House this week.

Senate Bill 700, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz allows employers to hold costs down by filing fewer claims. Employers would be able to pay more medical costs without affecting the employer’s experience rating on their workers’ compensation policy. The current cap is $1,000 and the amount would be higher under this legislation. The bill would help keep an employer’s workers’ compensation costs down.

The bill also includes a provision that allows construction employers to submit payroll information for any of four quarters prior to the workers’ compensation policy start or renewal date, provided the employer clearly indicates for which quarter the payroll information is being submitted. Supporters say it’s important for the employer to be able to choose which quarter is used, rather than only allowing third quarter payroll as provided in current law.

The bill was given final passage in the House on Tuesday by a margin of 116-37. It’s now up to Governor Nixon to sign or veto the bill.