Employers: Motor Carriers

Glaude v. State Compensation Ins. Fund, 271 Mont. 136, 894 P.2d 940 (05/04/95) When reading section 39-71-117(4), MCA (1993) along with section 39-71-405(1), MCA (1993), there is a set of facts under which claimant could recover benefits, requiring the lower court to deny respondent’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted. If the alleged employer is determined to be an interstate or intrastate common motor carrier and neither of the exceptions in section 39-71-117(4)(a) or (b), MCA (1993) apply, then the alleged employer may be claimant’s statutory employer. If that determination is made, then applying section 39-71-405(1), MCA, the insurance of the contractor above the alleged employer may cover claimant’s alleged injury.
Benton v. Uninsured Employers' Fund [08/14/08] 2008 MTWCC 41 Where Petitioner argues that a motor carrier’s use of an employee truck driver in this state effectively constitutes maintaining a place of business because the truck driver uses a truck, cell phone, computer, and log book to carry out his duties in this state, the Court concludes that the motor carrier business does not maintain a place a business and, therefore, was not an employer pursuant to § 39-71-117(4), MCA.
Geiger v. UEF [8/22/01] 2001 MTWCC 46 Sections 39-71-117 and -118, MCA (1997), which define "employee" and "employer," indirectly establish who must provide workers' compensation coverage and what workers are covered under the Montana Workers' Compensation Act. Section 39-71-117(4), MCA (1997), provides that an interstate motor carrier doing business in this state "who uses drivers in this state is considered the employer" and is liable for workers' compensation insurance unless the driver is certified as an independent contractor. Although claimant was not certified as an independent contractor, the statute applies only to a carrier "who uses drivers in this state." Where claimant was operating his own independent trucking business, respondent did not "use" claimant in his interstate business and was not required to insure claimant. (Note: Affirmed in Geiger v. UEF/Deckert 2002 MT 332.)