Posted on Mar 17, 2011

March 17, 2011 - Missouri - The Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senators are both dealing with some tough decisions because of a pair of bills causing a stir among the working world.

House Bill 205 is the first piece of legislation up for debate that would weaken laws protecting whistleblowers from discrimination or termination for their actions. A whistleblower is considered an employee who reports illegal conduct to a higher authority or refuses to take place in illegal practices in the workplace. Because these individuals are generally doing so in good faith, current law prevents employers from punishing them for their actions.

If passed, HB 205 would prevent an employee who was discriminated against from holding the person causing the discrimination accountable. It would also place limits on the punitive damages assessed against the discriminating party, lowering the effectiveness of the punitive system currently in place to deter such actions.

Senate Bill 188 is another similar piece of legislation that impairs filing of discrimination lawsuits by employees. Currently, employees who are terminated and feel their termination is the result of discrimination can file a lawsuit against their employers. SB 188 seeks to eliminate nearly all of the unique properties of the Missouri Human Rights Act and bring discrimination law into alignment with federal laws.

Senator Brad Lager, who represents Northwest Missouri, supports the bill, saying that the state has become the worst in the nation for employers when it comes to settling workplace discrimination lawsuits. He believes the bill will help make the state's discrimination laws fair to both employers and employees, while attracting more businesses to the state.

Missouri workers need to be aware of legislation such as this that may impact their rights to equal opportunities in the workplace and protection from discrimination. If you feel your rights as a Missouri worker have been violated and any of your benefits under ERISA laws are at risk, contact a St. Louis ERISA Attorney.

Contacting a St. Louis ERISA Attorney to Protect Your Rights

If your ERISA-controlled disability benefits, life insurance or accidental death benefits have been unfairly denied, it's important that you seek legal guidance from a St. Louis ERISA attorney who understands the intricacies of these very complex cases. The Missouri ERISA attorney team at Bollwerk & Tatlow, LLC fights for Missouri workers. Contact us today - 314-315-8111.