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HB-1187 would prohibit abusive behavior in the workplace – but it’s dead in the water

A proposed 2006 Missouri House Bill, HB-1187, would make bullying or abusive behavior unlawful, and let the victim sue for damages – but this bill will probably die

Laws get proposed all the time. And the laws make the legislators look good, garner decent press coverage, and then die.

HB-1187 is dead as of 4-3-06. See this page, showing HB-1187 is not on the calendar as of 4-3-06, after referral to committee. HB 1187 bill text.

When I first saw HB 1187, in January 2006, I wrote some thoughts about it, pro and con

Here is my wishlist for HB 1187 :

1) Needs to expressly grant Jury Trial

2) Religious institutions should be mentioned as being covered or not covered, just make it clear.

3) Damage cap of $25,000 (applicable to “Employers” in cases where no adverse employment action occurred) should be indexed to increase with inflation.

4) About the workers compensation “choice”, this is very troublesome. Employers will try to hoodwink employees into making an unknowing “choice”. For one example, Employers who take complaints about abuse will send the claimant to a workers comp psychologist, under the guise of “taking care” of the problem. Then in court, the employer will argue that by going to the workers comp psychologist, the claimant “chose” workers comp over private enforcement. For another example, employers will Very Promptly file a “Report of Injury” with the workers comp division, and have the employee sign off on it somehow, and then the employer will claim that employee “chose” workers comp.

Plus, workers comp has a two year time limit, but this 1187 law has a one year time limit.

So, change the the workers comp provision to permit double-filing with courts and workers comp (due to short ONE year stat of lim), but provide that the claimant must choose which “settlement or award” to accept. For example, if claimant accepts a workers comp settlement, then her lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice. Plus, if she settles her lawsuit, her workers comp case is dismissed with prejudice. Provide, also, that acceptance of “medical benefits or treatment” under workers compensation can occur without ANY adverse impact on the rights and remedies under HB1187.

[END of WISHLIST for HB 1187]

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