Sole Stockholder Not Employee Under VA Workers’ Compensation Act

Workers Compensation Case Watch Image_Glass Owner_week of February 6  2020


The claimant was injured at the auto glass company he owns.   The business had a workers’ compensation insurance policy but the insurer argued that the claimant was not an employee as defined by the Act so he was not subject to the policy’s coverage.

The insurer emailed the claimant stating that he had the option to exclude himself from coverage, for which he would receive a discount.  The claimant completed and signed the Rejection of Coverage form, listing himself as the President of the business. The claimant testified that he was the owner of the business and that he was the only shareholder of a stock corporation.

The claimant argued that he qualified for coverage as an executive officer and that his rejection of coverage was not effective because it was not filed with the Commission.  The Deputy Commissioner disagreed, finding that the claimant was not an employee because he was the sole shareholder of a stock corporation and did not expressly elect to be covered pursuant to Va. Code § 65.2-101(l)(n).  The Commission affirmed.

Read the full opinion in Ghaderi v. A Best Auto Glass Inc. 

Defense for this case was Joe McNally. 

Read the previous edition of Workers' Compensation Case Watch:

Climbing Fall Not ‘In The Course Of’ The Employment

Thumbnail_300x300_Jessica Trivizas

Jessica Hacker Trivizas is a litigator who focuses her practice on workers’ compensation, defending employers and carriers at the trial and appellate levels. She works with insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and self-insureds. Jessica worked on some of the largest settlements in the country, including the historic NFL Concussion Settlement Program, the BP Oil Spill settlement, and the Reglan/MCP Settlement Program. Her background on these mass claims resolution programs gives her unique insight into the work of claims adjusters.