- Missouri Employment Law Info Site – TimsLaw.com - http://www.timslaw.com -
2008 Missouri legislature would weaken employee rights in SB 1046 and HB 1858
The two bills are designed to make it more difficult for employees to win cases.
SB 1046 would weaken our whistleblower protections. In one part, it would take the “Exclusivity” standard of proof from case law and make it even more difficult to prove.. The exclusivity standard already makes no sense to me, as I rant and rave about in an article about retaliation. SB 1046 goes further and sets rigid standards for when someone has a whistleblower case.
SB 1046 – Under this act, the employment-at-will doctrine shall not control when elements of a whistle-blower cause of action for wrongful discharge are established. This cause of action is established if an employee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee reported to the proper authorities conduct that the employee had a good faith and reasonable belief violated a statute, constitutional provision, or regulation and a clearly mandated public policy; the employee was discharged; and the act of reporting was the exclusive factor in the discharge.
Similarly, the employment-at-will doctrine shall not control when elements of a refusal to commit an illegal act cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy are established. This cause of action is established if an employee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer directed the employee to perform conduct that would, if completed, violate a statute, constitutional provision, or regulation and a clearly mandated public policy; the employee specifically refused to perform the act; the employee was discharged; and the refusal to perform the act was the exclusive factor in the discharge.
This act is similar to HB 1456 (2006) and SB 168 (2007).
Do you know how corporations like to incorporate in Delaware (or other states)? Well, this means that when a Missouri resident sues the company, the case is heard in Federal Court rather than Missouri courts. Federal Courts usually dismiss employment cases rather than let them go to trial —– that’s what HB 1858 seeks to accomplish —- pushing employment discrimination cases into Federal Court so that they will be dismissed.
Here’s how HB 1858 accomplishes its goal: HB 1858 destroys our ability to sue the evildoing manager himself. We can still sue the company, but not the evildoer. Currently, we can often sue in Missouri Courts even if a company is incorporated in Delaware, if we ALSO sue the evildoing manager himself, because the manager is probably a Missouri resident. HB 1858 would prevent us from suing the evildoing manager himself.
HB 1858 would also eliminate our ability to win punitive damages from the State of Missouri when the State violates our civil rights.
HB 1858 — Human Rights
This bill revises the definition of “discrimination” to an
adverse action motivated by race, color, religion, national
origin, ancestry, sex, or age as it relates to employment and
disability or familial status as it relates to housing. The bill
also removes any person directly acting in the interest of an
employer from the definition of “employer.”
Courts cannot award punitive damages to state governmental
agencies or corporations, including public school districts and
Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)
Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.
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Phil Willoughby, Attorney
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas
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9800 NW Polo, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64153
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