AIM-supported employee arbitration bill receives Senate committee hearing

With the weeks dwindling down to a precious few at the State Capitol, legislation on arbitration agreements continues to move in the State Senate.

House Bill 1718 sponsored by State Representative Kevin Corlew, would allow enforcement of arbitration agreements between employers and at-will employees. The bill requires the employer and employee to jointly determine the arbitrator – often a retired judge. The arbitration process is less expensive and generally results in quicker decisions.

The bill passed the House last week, and it was heard this week in the Senate’s Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee. Associated Industries of Missouri was among a large contingent of businesses and associations to speak in support of the bill.

Janet Mark of Hallmark Cards told the committee that these agreements usually work out well for both employees and employers. If either party has problem with an arbitration agreement, it is decided by arbitration rather than courts under the bill. Employees are more likely to get their day in court in an arbitration processing.

Other businesses speaking in favor of HB1718 included: JE Dunn, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Burns and McDonnell, the Missouri Railroad Association, State Farm Insurance, the Missouri Insurance Coalition, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cerner Corporation.

The committee did not take action on the bill during the Tuesday hearing.