Potential Action Required for Motor Carriers Doing Business in Arkansas
May 7, 2014
Effective August 15, 2013, changes to the Workers’ Compensation (WC) requirements took effect under Arkansas A.C.A. 11-9-412. The new law applies specifically to Motor Carriers that contract with Owner Operators and Fleet Owners. The law allows Motor Carriers operating in the state of Arkansas, or contracted with Owner Operators who reside in Arkansas, to extend an offer to any Owner Operator and his/her employee drivers, while under exclusive contract to the Motor Carrier, the opportunity to participate in the Workers’ Compensation program that insures the Motor Carrier. The law outlines that the offer be made as part of the written contract between the owner operator and the motor carrier. You may access the law HERE.
There is, however, uncertainty as to the degree the Motor Carrier is required to make such an offer of workers compensation to Owner Operators (see Subchapter 4 (3)). After reaching out to several state officials within Arkansas, including Chief Legal Advisor Johnny Gregory, we cannot confirm that requirement. Best practice would be to have an Arkansas specific operating lease addendum drafted and executed on Arkansas based operations. We will keep you posted as new developments arise.
If you have any question or need additional information, please Contact Us.