AIM applauds Gov. Eric Greitens’ signing of employment law reform bill

Associated Industries of Missouri President and CEO Ray McCarty today applauded Governor Greitens’ approval of Senate Bill 43, a comprehensive employment law reform bill. The bill restores the standard used to evaluate discrimination claims in Missouri state courts to the standard used in federal courts in Missouri and in Missouri state courts until 2007. That year, the Missouri Supreme Court, acting without any legislative oversight, lowered the standard from “motivating factor” to “contributing factor.” This change essentially shifted the burden of proof to the employer to prove they were innocent of discrimination, instead of requiring the plaintiff to prove the employer had discriminated against them. This bill restores the law to the way it was before the Court changed the standard in 2007. The bill continues to hold supervisors liable for criminal or civil prosecution for offenses against another employee, but clearly states the employer is responsible for employment law claims. This essentially eliminates a tactic used by clever plaintiffs’

read more AIM applauds Gov. Eric Greitens’ signing of employment law reform bill

New direction for Missouri DNR – Director Comer appears on AIM Live Video Environmental Webinar

June 30, 2017 – Associated Industries of Missouri President and CEO Ray McCarty welcomed Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Carol Comer, General Counsel Katie Jo Wheeler, and Director of the Division of Environmental Quality Ed Galbraith to our studio as they presented AIM’s Live Video Environmental Webinar this morning to nearly 30 businesses across the state. Director Comer discussed her vision for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She stressed her goal is for the agency to help businesses comply with environmental regulations and to be less punitive in nature. McCarty was very impressed with both the spirit and detail of her remarks. “I believe members of the regulated community sincerely wanting to comply with environmental regulations will find the approach taken by Director Comer to be a breath of fresh air,” said McCarty. “She is tasking her agency with helping implement Governor Greitens’ stated goal of making government work for the people in a way that

read more New direction for Missouri DNR – Director Comer appears on AIM Live Video Environmental Webinar

Employer wins case brought by contractor alleging whistleblower protection

The Missouri Supreme Court on June 27, 2017, ruled in favor of an employer in a case alleging a contractor with the employer was entitled to whistleblower protections in the same manner as employees. Associated Industries of Missouri and the Missouri Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in support of the employer in the case and are pleased with the decision. The plaintiff, Bishop and Associates, was a contractor with the defendant, Ameren Corporation.  Bishop brought a claim against Ameren alleging “wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, defamation, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference with a business expectancy.” The suit arose after Ameren terminated its relationship with Bishop and Associates, which provided commercial plumbing services at several of Ameren’s facilities. Bishop claimed “independent contractors have a cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy,” among other charges. Ameren, and AIM in the amicus, argued whistleblower and other

read more Employer wins case brought by contractor alleging whistleblower protection

Legal Perspectives: Significant cases this term for manufacturers

By Linda Kelly, SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary This week, the U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its October 2016 term. While most legal reporters would tell you this was a mundane term with few blockbuster cases, there were some very significant holdings this term for manufacturers. Chief among these significant cases were three involving the fundamental question of where a lawsuit may be brought.  For our members who find themselves targets of civil litigation, one of the most significant factors is where they are sued.  Not only does tort law vary from state to state, but certain state court jurisdictions have become favorite destinations of the plaintiffs’ bar because the juries and the court systems have the reputation of being pro-plaintiff and anti-corporate Because of this, plaintiffs’ lawyers will go to great lengths to construct their cases to include parties and claims that will allow the cases to be brought in their favored jurisdictions. This can sometimes lead to

read more Legal Perspectives: Significant cases this term for manufacturers

OSHA to hold public meeting to solicit suggestions for strengthening the Voluntary Protection Programs

By Bethany Watson, 365 Safety Services OSHA will hold a meeting on July 17 and has opened a docket to discuss the future direction of the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The discussion will include comments and suggestions from the public on potential avenues for action. OSHA is seeking to reshape the VPP and invites stakeholder input to glean information such as how to enhance the efforts of employers, workers, and unions in the process; increase participation in the program; and how to modify VPP for engagement of long-term participants.  The full article can be accessed by clicking here and comments can be submitted here on the docket.  

Missouri disaster survivors: reasons to apply for an SBA loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a major role in helping disaster survivors recover. Missouri survivors of the April 28 to May 11, 2017 flooding and severe storms who live in one of the 27 Missouri counties included in the presidential disaster declaration and have applied for help with FEMA may be referred to SBA. If survivors are contacted by SBA regarding a low-interest disaster loan application, it is important to complete and submit the application as soon as possible. This will ensure that the federal disaster recovery process continues and options are kept open. Even if survivors do not believe they need a loan, they should complete and submit the application. If SBA determines they are eligible for a loan, they are under no obligation to accept it. Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be referred to FEMA and considered for other FEMA grants and programs that could

read more Missouri disaster survivors: reasons to apply for an SBA loan

NAM: Monday Economic Report

Last week was a slower one for indicators, but the data points that were released reflected mostly positive trends, with the global economy showing signs of continued progress. Along those lines, the IHS Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose once again to its fastest pace since April 2011. This suggests that manufacturers in Europe have mostly brushed off political uncertainties, with economic growth on the continent continuing to trend in the right direction. New orders and output accelerated further in June, with both at levels not seen since early 2011. Looking ahead six months, the future output index reflected healthy expectations moving forward, with that measure at its highest point since it was introduced in mid-2012. In addition, IHS Markit also released preliminary figures for France and Germany, which were both promising despite mixed results in June. In the United States, manufacturing activity remained bright, even as some reports indicate a slowing in growth from earlier in the year. Indeed,

read more NAM: Monday Economic Report

200 jobs planned for St. Joseph

St. Joseph’s economy continues to grow steadily as local companies like Triumph Foods and St. Joe Petroleum are choosing to expand and create new jobs in the process. With help from the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and the State of Missouri, each company looks forward to achieving their goals. “More and more businesses are turning to Missouri to connect with the best workers in the nation and find success. And this means that hundreds of Missourians will have more opportunities to find good jobs. We look forward to seeing these companies continue to grow in our state,” said Gov. Eric Greitens. Triumph Foods, a pork processing operation, plans to create 72 new jobs with a capital investment of $1.5 million. With a workforce of over 2,800 today, the company began processing operations in 2006, in St. Joseph, MO, where it is headquartered. The company processes in excess of six million hogs each year, and are looking to add some new machinery

read more 200 jobs planned for St. Joseph

Mistrial declared in talcum powder suit

A St. Louis judge declared a mistrial Monday in a talcum powder trial underway in St. Louis Circuit Court after the U.S. Supreme Court imposed limits on where injury lawsuits may be filed. The talcum powder cases were brought in other states and dismissed. In Missouri courts, however, these cases have been successful. Associated Industries of Missouri believes this is partly because Missouri lacked a higher standard for determining whether someone is truly an “expert” and other states did have such a standard. We were successful in passing a bill this year to fix this problem in Missouri’s statutes and adopt the same standard used in federal courts and most other states to determine whether a person is an expert or not. Governor Greitens signed the bill into law, meaning Missouri will now observe the Daubert standard regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses’ testimony. The bill, HB 153, was signed into law by Governor Greitens on March 28, 2017, and will be

read more Mistrial declared in talcum powder suit

Ford invests $900 million in Kentucky plant to build new Expedition, Navigator

Ford announced manufacturing actions centered on improving the company’s operational fitness and building vehicles that excite customers around the world. Ford is investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant for plant upgrades to build the all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, which begin arriving in dealerships this fall. Both full-size SUVs will be exported to more than 55 markets globally – including Navigator to China. Ford is a top auto exporter in the U.S. The $900 million investment secures 1,000 jobs for hourly workers at the Louisville plant. This is in addition to the $1.3 billion investment and 2,000 jobs created at that plant in late 2015 to build the all-new Ford Super Duty.