Employers: Statutory Employer

Total Mechanical Heating & Air Condition, et al. v. ERD/UEF , 2002 MT 55 In a proceeding involving the UEF's assessment of a penalty against an allegedly uninsured employer, the UEF shoulders the burden of proving whether an entity is a statutory "employer" and, if it is, whether the employer is uninsured for workers' compensation coverage. See Auto Parts v. Employement Relations Div., 2001 MT 72, 305 Mont. 40, 23 P.2d 193. In the case of "leased" employees, the definition of "employer" within section 39-71-117, MCA (1993) presumes that client companies are the statutory employers but allows that presumption to be rebutted pursuant to subsections 3(a) and (b) of the statute. To rebut the presumption and find an employee leasing company to be the "employer," there must be a showing that the employee leasing company met certain conditions, one of which is that the leasing company provided workers' compensation coverage to its clients from the inception of its Montana operation. Where the leasing company professes to be the employer, it had the burden to satisfactorily rebut the statutory presumption, which it failed to do where it did not produce credible evidence of workers' compensation insurance. By proving that the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCII) and State DLI databases did not show insurance for the relevant entities, the UEF, under Auto Parts, supra, met its burden of proving that coverage was not established.

Jensen v. Uninsured Employers' Fund [02/13/14] 2014 MTWCC 5 A requirement for finding a statutory employer liable for an injured employee of an uninsured contractor is that a contract existed between the employer and the contractor for the work to be performed.  Since the parties agreed that no consideration was exchanged between the Butte pre-release center and the contractor, the pre-release center could not fit the definition of a statutory employer under § 39-71-405(2), MCA, as consideration is an essential element of a contract.

H&D Investments v. Uninsured Employers' Fund [01/13/09] 2009 MTWCC 1 Where the UEF concedes that Petitioner is not the “contractor primarily liable,” it cannot pursue reimbursement of benefits paid from Petitioner under § 39-71-405(1), MCA.
Door v. State Fund & UEF [5/5/04] 2004 MTWCC 42 An employer who contracts work with an uninsured independent subcontractor is liable for benefits payable to the subcontractors injured employees if the subcontractor was obligated either by statute or contract to provide workers' compensation insurance and irrespective of whether the employer is statutorily required to provide coverage for its own employees.
Glover v. Cranford/St. Paul Guardian/State Fund/UEF [4/12/02] 2002 MTWCC 22 Under section 39-71-405(1) , MCA (1999), the insurer for a prime contractor which engages an uninsured independent subcontractor is liable for the work-related injury suffered by an employee of the subcontractor.