“Time-limited demands” bill finally passed by the House

SCS HCS HB’s 339 & 714, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot, was truly agreed and finally passed by the Missouri House, meaning the next step is a signature from Governor Greitens. The bill addresses time-limited demands and abusive agreements that allow a plaintiff and defendant to collude against the defendant’s insurance company. Synopsis of SS/SCS/HCS/HB 339 & 714 – Section 537.065 allows claimants and insureds to contract to limit recovery to insurance coverage.  This statute is unique to Missouri, as no other states have established such a practice by statute. The insured, while knowing that he will not be held personally responsible, agrees either to settle or compromise the claim or not to oppose the tort victim’s prosecution of the claim at trial. The insurer generally is limited to disputing only the legal conclusion of whether coverage existed and typically is barred from re-litigating any other aspect of the suit.  These agreements are often used to compel an insurer to provide

read more “Time-limited demands” bill finally passed by the House

Without Missouri Senate action, minimum wage is going to $10 per hour right away – $11 per hour in January

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) joined several other business groups in filing suit against an ordinance passed by the City of St. Louis that would have increased the minimum wage that must be paid by employers located in St. Louis City. Although we prevailed at the lower court level, the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated a statute preventing local governments from enacting local minimum wages that had been on the books for nearly 20 years and, in effect, validated the St. Louis City ordinance. Yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court overruled our motion for rehearing. The City of St. Louis released a statement that minimum wage will increase as soon as the Circuit Court lifts its injunction, which could happen as soon as next week. It will be effective immediately thereafter, according to this press release by the City of St. Louis. While the Missouri House took quick action to pass a bill a month ago that would have averted this crisis, the Missouri Senate has

read more Without Missouri Senate action, minimum wage is going to $10 per hour right away – $11 per hour in January

Judge W. Brent Powell appointed to Missouri Supreme Court

Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell was appointed Tuesday to the Missouri Supreme Court, marking the first high-profile judicial selection by new Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. Powell will replace former Judge Richard Teitelman, who died in November at his home in St. Louis. Powell, a 46-year-old Kansas City resident, was appointed by former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt as a Jackson County judge in 2008. He previously spent seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Kansas City and also worked as an assistant Platte County prosecutor. Greitens said Powell has established himself as “an outstanding jurist.” “He has received high marks for being humble, fair-minded and of the highest integrity,” Greitens said in a statement accompanying his announcement. “I am confident Judge Powell will be committed to strengthening and improving our court system and guarding the rule of law as a judge on our state’s highest court.” Read the full article from the Southeast Missourian here.  

Hiring Problems? Maybe You’re Getting What You Ask For

By LauraLee Rose, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager HELP WANTED: Line Operator.  $9-9.50 and hour.  Candidates must be able to pass drug screen, background screens and math testing. Engine Assembler.  Duties:  Final Inspection of Parts.  Assemble parts.  Remove engine from stand and load onto mono rail to dyno.  Work environment:  Exposure to oil, grease, dirt, chemicals, varying temperatures and loud noises. Assembly Position.  Well established, growing manufacturing business has full time assembly position available.  Fully paid benefits, paid vacation, 401K, EOE.  NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.  Apply online at: xxx. Production Worker.  Job description: Production work in machine shop.  Skilled in the use of basic inspection tool equipment such as calipers, micrometers, depth gauge, etc.  Provide regular maintenance of machines including lubrication, coolant levels and cleaning.  Self-motivated and able to work with minimum supervision.  Pay schedule is based upon knowledge and experience. WOW! I can’t imagine why folks aren’t lining up for these jobs!  These are snippets from actual ads for manufacturing

read more Hiring Problems? Maybe You’re Getting What You Ask For

Two companies plan to bring 350 new jobs to the Show-Me State

Straight from the Show-Me State comes another business announcement related to the creation of new jobs. This time we’re focusing on Abstrakt Marketing Group in St. Louis and Quiet Logistics in Hazelwood. Abstrakt is looking a grow by 100 new employees by the end of the year as the marketing firm hit $13.5 million in revenue last year. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Melanie Clark, Abstrakt’s marketing director recently said, “We’re hiring between five and 10 employees a month as is right now.” With such an incredible rate of growth, Abstrakt will need more space but that should not be a problem as the Post-Dispatch’s article also mentions how part of Laclede’s Landing will be converted into new offices, which the marketing firm plans to use three floors worth by the end of the year. Not too far from the Landing, Quiet Logistics, a Massachusetts-based e-commerce distributor for fashion apparel, is creating a loud number of jobs. Approximately 250 positions including

read more Two companies plan to bring 350 new jobs to the Show-Me State

Employment law reform, centerpiece of tort reform for all employers in Missouri, NOT a done deal

We have been hearing from some elected representatives they are opposed to a bill that is the centerpiece of tort reform in Missouri: the employment law reform bill, Senate Bill 43.  Claims that this bill would allow discrimination in Missouri and punish whistleblowers is simply wrong. Several Republicans who usually vote on the business side of legislative issues and in many ways are very helpful to the business community don’t like this bill. Why? Some have been confused by sharp attorneys that make their living suing people and businesses. These plaintiffs’ attorneys like the current system because it allows creative attorneys to use the low standard of proof in Missouri state courts to bring frivolous cases against employers. Employers are then left to defend themselves in costly lawsuits. Some employers have testified in legislative hearings they cannot afford to continue winning these cases because they have to pay attorneys large sums to defend themselves. While some attorneys may like the current system, employers and other victims of these lawsuits are left paying the

read more Employment law reform, centerpiece of tort reform for all employers in Missouri, NOT a done deal

Senate advances bill that addresses insurance tort issues

The Missouri Senate advanced its version of HB 339, a bill that addresses “trick bag” agreements between plaintiffs’ attorneys and defendants against the defendants’ insurance companies, and time limited demands for settlement that are presented without sufficient information to evaluate the claim. Senator Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) handled the bill in the Senate. The House sponsor is Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield). Associated Industries of Missouri worked hard with insurance companies to arrive at compromise language that was included in the bill. The bill should help prevent plaintiff’s attorneys from abusing the system, while protecting the rights of employers that may have disputes with their insurance companies. The changes must be accepted by the House or differences resolved before the bill is finally passed.

Rep. McGaugh leads House in advancing workers’ compensation bill

Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton), the House handler of SB 66, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan), led the House in passing the bill with amendments back to the Senate. If the Senate adopts the provisions added by the House, the bill would go to the Governor’s desk. The amendments to the bill were pro-employer amendments. The bill addresses workers’ compensation retaliation by requiring an employee to prove an employer was motivated by the fact the worker had a work comp claim when taking an adverse action against the employee. Today, the employee only has to prove the work comp claim was a contributing factor in the employer’s decision. The current low standard shifts the burden of proof back to the employer, leading to costly litigation, even when an employer has dismissed the employee for cause. The bill also: Defines when “maximum medical improvement” has been achieved, triggering final settlement of a work comp claim; Allows a reduction of work

read more Rep. McGaugh leads House in advancing workers’ compensation bill

Business executives gather for AIM’s April board meeting

    Associated Industries of Missouri held its April board meeting today at the office in Jefferson City. During the meeting, President Ray McCarty discussed happenings in the Missouri legislature and what to expect for the remainder of session. In the afternoon, the board meeting attendees visited Missouri’s Capitol to visit with legislators including Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, Senator Brian Munzlinger and Representative TJ Berry. The legislators were happy to meet with AIM’s board and seemed optimistic about the future of Missouri’s business climate. The Board expressed their thanks to the legislators for moving business-friendly legislation in the current legislative session. “We are happy to have so many pro-business leaders in the House, Senate and Governor’s Office,” said Ray McCarty, president/CEO of AIM. “Our board members were able to thank them for their hard work and pass along the importance of the issues they are working on, including the employment law/whistleblower bill and tax issues, and expressed

read more Business executives gather for AIM’s April board meeting

Renter’s property tax credit bill debated in the Senate

The Senate debated until 5:40 a.m. this morning a bill that would eliminate the renter’s property tax credit for low income seniors and the disabled and place the proceeds in a new fund that will be used to provide services for low income seniors and the disabled. An amendment was proposed and defeated to eliminate the 2% sales/use tax timely filing allowance. That amendment was defeated on a 22-7 vote with no Republicans voting in favor. Associated Industries of Missouri has strongly advocated for keeping the timely filing allowance and is happy with this vote.