JEFFERSON CITY – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, to require the Division of Workers’ Compensation to maintain a claims database was today approved by the Missouri Senate and sent to the House for consideration.
Senate Bill 34 would, specifically, require a workers’ compensation claims database that would be accessible to potential employers through the Division of Workers’ Compensation website. Claims records are only retrievable by an employer, who, during a pre-hire period, provides a potential employee’s name and Social Security number. In addition, that potential employer would need to, upon retrieval, identify the date of any claim made by a prospective employee and whether the claim is open or closed. A person who fraudulently accesses the database would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
“Workers’ compensation is one of our state’s most important issues, as it affects almost every employer and employee in Missouri,” Sen. Cunningham said. “Currently, if a potential employer wants a job applicant’s workers’ compensation claims from the division, it takes a couple weeks, as a written request is needed. This often takes a long time and isn’t fair to the person applying for the job, as I’m sure he or she would like to get hired as soon as possible, nor is it convenient for the potential employer. We need make this system less cumbersome and allow more Missourians to get into work as soon as possible.”
Senate Bill 34 was voted out of the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 12. For more information about the legislation, visit the Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov