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Total Articles: 10

Missouri Court Tackles Sex Stereotyping, Highlights Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues

While nearly half of all states expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Missouri is not one of those states. However, the Missouri Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in favor of a gay employee who filed a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination based on sex stereotyping. Lampley v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights, No. WD80288 (October 24, 2017).

Missouri Supreme Court Punts Two Lawsuits in a Row, on Direct Flights to Arbitration

Arbitration agreements have faced tackles and turbulence in a series of cases litigated in Missouri courts over the past few years. In the fall of 2017, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued two favorable arbitration agreement decisions: one involved an aviation school, the other arose from a training facility lease with the Rams football team, which has since left Missouri for California and was previously involved in a different arbitration-related case in Missouri. Other parties stand to benefit from these decisions if they carefully draft and execute arbitration clauses and properly incorporate and reference the procedural and substantive rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), or a professional alternative dispute resolution organization that uses similar language in its rules.

Will Missourians Finally Have the “Right to Work”?

On February 6, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, which was designed to make Missouri the country’s 28th right-to-work state, effective August 28, 2017. Unions, fearing significant revenue losses, mounted petition drives to reverse the action of the legislature and governor. On August 18, 2017, the unions filed signatures in support of Referendum Petition 2018-R002 with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. To be valid, this petition was required to have been signed by at least five percent of the registered voters in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. Following review by the office of the Missouri secretary of state and local election boards, on November 22, 2017, Missouri Secretary of State Ashcroft issued a certificate of sufficiency certifying that Referendum Petition 2018-R002 had been supported by the requisite number of signatures and that the question of right-to-work would be presented to Missouri’s voters in November 2018 (unless a different date is designated by the Missouri General Assembly). According to Missouri Constitution Article III, Section 52(b), right-to-work will become the law of Missouri only if ratified by the Missouri electorate.

Missouri Appellate Court’s Holding That Sex Discrimination May Be Based on Sex Stereotyping Offers Some Protections for LGBT Employees

In Lampley, et al. v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights,1 the Missouri Court of Appeals held that sex stereotyping can form the basis of a sex discrimination claim when the complaining party is gay, but should not be construed as a claim for sexual orientation discrimination.2 The latter cause of action is not a cognizable claim under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). Further, a complaining party’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to the claim of discrimination based upon sex stereotyping.

Missouri Right to Work Law Suspended, Likely Headed for Popular Vote

A new Missouri "right to work" law has been blocked from taking effect, following a last-ditch petition effort in opposition to the measure. The law banning mandatory union fees would have taken effect August 28.

Unions Fight Back Against Missouri Right-to-Work Law

On February 6, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, making Missouri our nation’s 28th right-to-work state. Senate Bill 19, codified as Section 290.590 of the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo), was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2017. The unions, fearing significant revenue losses, mounted petition drives to reverse the actions of the legislature and governor. On Friday, August 18, 2017, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office reported that the unions filed one type of petition: a referendum intended to submit approval of the statute to the voters in November 2018. Meanwhile, attempts to also submit state constitutional amendments to the voters, by initiative petition, appear to remain ongoing.

"A Little Bad Grammar Will Not Annul" – Missouri Unions Move Ahead with Referendum Petition to Revoke Right-to-Work

Missouri was set to become a right-to-work state on August 28, 2017. However, unions have continued efforts to prevent the implementation of Senate Bill 19 (“SB 19”), Missouri’s right-to-work bill. Article III, Section 52 of the Missouri Constitution allows the public to petition for a referendum to put key issues before Missouri voters on the November 2018 ballot. The president of the Missouri AFL-CIO intends to use a referendum petition to halt SB 19.

Missouri Law Prohibits Costly Public Project Labor Agreements

On May 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation generally barring public entities from requiring job-specific union contracts called “project labor agreements” on public construction projects.

Missouri Overrides St. Louis Minimum Wage Hike, Bucking Trend

Effective August 28, Missouri will override the $10 St. Louis minimum wage and lower it back to $7.70, consistent with the state's minimum figure. The state-mandated decrease in the St. Louis minimum wage is especially noteworthy at a time when a number of cities and states just increased their own minimum wages on July 1. The preemption bill bans Missouri cities or counties from establishing a minimum wage rate that exceeds the state's minimum wage.

Big Changes in Missouri: A New and Improved Missouri Human Rights Act Becomes Law

On June 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed into law Senate Bill 43, which corrects the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) by bringing it into closer alignment with federal and other states' anti-discrimination statutes.