Monday, February 16, 2015

Commission won't lift under corporate veil

Claimant worked as a janitor for University of Missouri and  hurt his right shoulder swinging a mop and ultimately asserted he was unemployable in the open labor market. Marshall v Job Finders, etal, 2015 Mo WCLR Lexis 14 (Feb. 10, 2015). The Commission affirmed the award with additional findings related temporary agency, Job Finders, used by the university.

The ALJ found the temporary agency employed more than 200 people  and operated at the time of the accident without insurance and found the owner  (Williams) personally liable for worker's compensation benefits.  The employer had not answered a claim  for about two years and its corporate name varied slightly from the pled name.  Job Finders  did not file a timely application for review to the Commission either.

The ALJ allowed found both the temporary agency and the university were employers and liable under the statute. 

The Commission concluded its review was not limited to issues raised in applications as long as the parties had due process and additional time to address other issues.  The Commission noted in order to find an owner responsible that the owner needs to be named as a party in the original claim and the ALJ violated due process by asserted liability against the uninsured owner  It further noted that under strict construction required express finding the person is either an employer or an insurer and did expressly allow piercing the corporate veil. 

The Commission made a finding to pierce the corporate veil in   Guinnip v Bannister Electric, 2012 Mo WCLR Lexis 149 (July 27, 2012).

ALJ  Ruth
Atty:  Hines, Murphy