Labor & Employment Law

SCS HCS HB 38 – Work-off rate for certain county criminal defendants and notification of jail escapes (See Local Government)

HCS HB 136 – Unemployment benefits and courtesy professional licenses for certain military spouses (See Military & Veterans Law)

SS SCS HCS HB 163 – Unemployment compensation Specifies that a claimant will be ineligible for waiting week credit or benefits for any week that he or she has an outstanding penalty which was assessed based upon an overpayment of benefits and reduces the maximum total amount of benefits payable to any insured worker during any benefit year from the lesser of 26 times his or her weekly benefit amount or 33 1/3% of his or her wage credits to the lesser of 20 times his or her weekly benefit amount or 33 1/3% of his or her wage credits.     

In order for Missouri to receive recently approved additional extended federal unemployment benefit funds until August 28, 2013, the bill changes certain laws regarding unemployment compensation. 

The bill contains an emergency clause. (Signed 4/13/11)

HB 183 – Kansas City police and civilian employees' retirement systems Changes the laws regarding the Police Retirement System of Kansas City and the Civilian Employees’ Retirement System of the Police Department of Kansas City.  (Signed 7/8/11)

HB 229 – Public school retirement system of Kansas City Changes the laws regarding the Public School Retirement System of Kansas City.  (Signed 6/16/11)

SCS HB 270 – State employees' health insurance benefits Requires the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan to offer a qualified high-deductible health plan.

Currently, the state employees’ health insurance benefit plan must provide full health benefit plan coverage to participants who are also eligible for and covered by Medicare.  The bill requires the state employees’ health insurance benefit plan to provide a health plan that offers substantially similar benefits to Medicare as well as to participants who are eligible for but not covered by Medicare. (Signed 7/7/11)

SS SCS HB 282 – Public employee retirement Changes the laws regarding public employee retirement.

Includes provisions affecting the Missouri Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (Sections 70.710 - 70.730, RSMo); Police Retirement System of Kansas City and the Civilian Employees’ Retirement System of The Police Department of Kansas City (Chapter 86); Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis (Sections 87.127, 87.205, and 87.207); Missouri Development Finance Board Employees’ Retirement (Section 100.273); Transfer of service between the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System and The Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (Section 104.603); and quarterly reporting of public defined benefit retirement plans (Section 105.661); and The State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan (Sections 105.915 and 105.927).

Currently, the state must credit an amount up to $75 per month, as determined by appropriation, to each qualified participant’s deferred compensation account if the participant is making continuous deferrals of at least $25 per month, the participant has been employed by the state for at least 12 consecutive months, and the state contribution does not exceed the amount that the participant contributes.  The bill removes these contribution conditions and allows the funds to be credited to each participant directly by a state agency if that agency’s payroll is not issued through the State Treasurer. (Signed 7/8/11)

HB 358 – Police retirement system of St. Louis Changes the laws regarding the Police Retirement System of St. Louis by applying federal tax law requirements to the provisions related to annuity distributions, rollovers to individual retirement accounts, rollovers from other retirement plans and accounts, and the annual amount allowed to be distributed to a member.

Also specifies that if a member of the retirement system dies on or after January 1, 2007, while performing qualified military service, the member’s surviving spouse and other dependents will be entitled to the benefits that would have been provided if the member had returned to active service as a police officer and died while in active service. (Signed 5/2/11)

HCS HB 465 – Credit unions (See Commercial Law)

SS SCS HCS HB 664 – Firefighter benefits Changes the laws regarding benefits for a fire fighter incurring an infectious disease in the line of duty and the Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis.

Any infectious disease, as defined in the bill, which causes a condition of impaired health that results in a disability or death of a fire fighter who has at least five years of service, will be presumed to have been incurred by the fire fighter in the line of duty in certain circumstances, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence, as it relates to a claim for disability or death or for retirement benefits.  The fire fighter must submit to an annual physical examination which includes a blood test.

(Signed 7/7/11)

SB 36 –Leave of absence for certain civil air patrol members Requires any employee of employers with 50 or more workers who is or may become a member of the civil air patrol and has met certain qualifications or certification to be granted a leave of absence to perform civil air patrol emergency service duty or counter narcotics missions.  Certain limitations apply.
This act has an emergency clause. (Signed 7/1/11)

SCS/SB 54 – Protecting children from sexual offenders (See Criminal Law)

SCS SB 188 – Unlawful discriminatory employment practices Changes the laws regarding unlawful discriminatory employment practices under the Missouri Human Rights Law and establishes the Whistleblower’s Protection Act. (Vetoed 4/29/11)

UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES UNDER THE MISSOURI HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

(1)  Adds the term “because” or “because of” as it relates to a decision or action to be the protected criterion was a motivating factor;

(2)  Revises the term “employer” by specifying that it is a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has six or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year and does not include the federal government; a corporation wholly owned by the federal government; an individual employed by an employer; an Indian tribe; certain departments or agencies of the District of Columbia; certain private membership clubs, excluding labor organizations; and corporations and associations owned and operated by religious or sectarian groups;

(3)  Specifies that in an employment action alleging an unlawful employment practice under Section 213.055, RSMo, or an unlawful employment practice under Section 213.070 will only apply when an employer commits the specified acts in these provisions and cannot provide a basis for any individual liability;

(4)  Requires a court as it relates to the presentation of evidence to a jury to rely heavily upon judicial interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans With Disabilities Act in interpreting and applying the provisions of Chapter 213 in an employment case;

(5)  Specifies that the legislature intends expressly to abrogate McBryde v. Ritenour School District, 207 S.W.3d 162 (Mo. App. E.D. 2006) as it relates to the necessity and appropriateness of the issuance of a business judgment instruction;

(6)  Recommends that certain specified frameworks for the analysis of an employment discrimination case should be considered highly persuasive if an employer in a Chapter 213 case files a Rule 74.04 of the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure motion as a tool in removing factually insubstantial cases from crowded dockets;

(7)  Allows any party in an unlawful discriminatory employment practice action to demand a trial by jury.  If the trial occurs in the circuit courts of the State of Missouri, the Missouri common law regarding the presentation of evidence to a jury must apply at trial whether before a judge or jury;

(8)  Specifies that the amount of all damages awarded cannot exceed the amount of the actual back pay, interest on back pay, other equitable relief, and other damages of up to $50,000 in the case of an employer with six to 99 employees in each of 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year; up to $100,000 for an employer with 101 to 200 employees; up to $200,000 for an employer with 201 to 500 employees; and up to $300,000 for an employer with more than 500 employees.  The maximum award amounts do not apply to unlawful discrimination actions regarding housing, commercial real estate loans, and selling or renting by real estate agencies.  The limits will increase or decrease in the same amounts as any corresponding limits are increased or decreased in Section 42 U.S.C. 1981 a(b)(3);

(9)  Requires the plaintiff to prove that the protected criterion was a motivating factor in the alleged unlawful decision or action in any employment-related civil action; and

(10)  Prohibits punitive damages from being awarded against the state or any of its political subdivisions.

WHISTLEBLOWER’S PROTECTION ACT
The Whistleblower’s Protection Act is established which places in statute existing common law exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine making it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discharge or retaliate against an individual who is a protected person.  The bill:

(1)  Adds the term “because” or “because of” as it relates to a decision or action to be the protected criterion was a motivating factor;

(2)  Defines “proper authorities” as a governmental or law enforcement agency or an officer or the employee’s human resources representative employed by the employer;

(3)  Defines “protected person” as a person who has reported to the proper authorities an unlawful act of the employer or its agent; a person who reports to an employer serious misconduct of the employer or its agent that violates a state law or regulation or a rule of a governmental entity; a person who has refused to carry out a directive issued by the employer or its agent that, if completed, would be a violation of the law; or a person who engages in conduct otherwise protected by statute or regulation;

(4)  Specifies that the provisions of the act will provide the exclusive remedy for any and all unlawful employment practices and voids any common law causes of action to the contrary;

(5)  Requires a protected person aggrieved by a violation to have a private right of action for damages.  The court may grant as relief, as it deems appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order and may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages;

(6)  Grants any party to an action the right to demand a trial by jury; and

(7)  Specifies that the amount of all damages awarded cannot exceed the amount of the actual back pay, interest on back pay, other equitable relief, and other damages of up to $50,000 in the case of an employer with six to 100 employees in each of 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year; up to $100,000 for an employer with 101 to 200 employees; up to $200,000 for an employer with 201 to 500 employees; and up to $300,000 for an employer with more than 500 employees.  The limits will increase or decrease in the same amounts as any corresponding limits are increased or decreased in Section 42 U.S.C. 1981 a(b)(3). In scope, oppose § 213.101.2.4.6. (Vetoed 4/29/11)

SS SB 238 – Benefits for a firefighter incurring an infectious disease in the line of duty Specifies that any infectious disease, as defined in the bill, which causes a condition of impaired health that results in a disability or the death of a fire fighter who has at least five years of service will be presumed to have been incurred by the fire fighter in the line of duty in certain circumstances, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence, as it relates to a claim for disability or death or for retirement benefits.  The fire fighter must submit to an annual physical examination which includes a blood test. (Signed 7/7/11)

 

Index of Bills by Subject Matter

Key
  • CCS - Conference Committee Substitute
  • HB - House Bill
  • HCS - House Committee Substitute
  • HS - House Substitute
  • HJR - House Joint Resolution
  • SB - Senate Bill
  • SCS - Senate Committee Substitute
  • SS - Senate Substitute
  • SJR - Senate Joint Resolution
  • * - Missouri Bar Committee-Drafted Legislation