Senate approves work comp bill, including retaliation reform

February 23, 2017 – Following lengthy debate on the Senate floor, the Missouri Senate has approved SB 113 (Schatz) regarding workers’ compensation.

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Senator Dave Schatz

The bill would reinstate the “motivating factor” standard for proving a work comp discrimination claim. The courts have recently lowered this standard to the same standard used for other discrimination claims: the contributing factor standard. This has shifted the burden of proof in work comp discrimination claims to the employer, creating an unfair advantage for plaintiffs trying to prove discrimination when none exists.

“Restoring this standard to the ‘motivating factor’ standard – requiring the employer be motivated by discrimination in taking action against an employee that has previously filed a work comp claim in order to be liable for a discrimination claim – makes perfect sense,” said Ray McCarty, president/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “We will continue to pursue changes to the other discrimination statutes to restore this same level of proof to other discrimination claims, aligning them with the standard used in federal courts.”

The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.