AIM negotiates language concessions, drops opposition to domestic violence leave bill

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty announced Wednesday that changes made in a Senate Committee Substitute to Senate Bill 907 have resulted in the Association dropping its opposition to the legislation, provided that Substitute is adopted.

The legislation provides unpaid leave for domestic violence victims that are seeking medical care for themselves or their children or pursuing legal remedies to protect them.

The Senate’s Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee took testimony on the bill at a hearing on Tuesday. AIM president McCarty spoke in opposition to the bill due to its several provisions that set up a new line of potential lawsuits against employers.

McCarty negotiated with bill sponsor Sen. Gina Walsh to arrive at language that eliminated AIM’s opposition to the bill. The result is a Senate Committee Substitute (SCS) to the original bill.

“We believe employers will voluntarily comply with the statute as most employers want their employees to be safe and healthy and to remove domestic violence from their lives,” McCarty wrote in an email to committee chairman Sen. Mike Parson included with the new SCS. “As we heard in the hearing, there is a cost of domestic violence to employers and inherent dangers to other employees. Allowing employees to address the issues related to domestic violence would help reduce these costs and create a safer working environment for all employees.”

McCarty thanks Sen. Walsh and the committee for working with AIM to eliminate the objectionable language from the bill. The fate of the bill is now up to the committee which could take a vote on whether or not to move the bill forward at its next meeting.