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Total Articles: 10

Missouri’s 2018 Legislative Session Ends With Changes in Governance and Employment Law

In the final days of Missouri’s 2018 legislative session, lawmakers passed dozens of bills, including those related to changes to prevailing wage payments and to the merit system for state workers. As of May 30, 2018, those bills and others had been forwarded to the desk of former Missouri governor Eric Greitens.

Missouri Revolutionizes Public Sector Labor Law, Part One: Carve-Outs and the Representation Process

On May 17, 2018, the Missouri General Assembly adopted a comprehensive rewrite of Missouri public sector labor law in House Bill 1413 (HB 1413), which primarily concentrates on the public sector labor law provisions of Chapter 105 of the Missouri Code. HB 1413 is effective August 28, 2018, unless vetoed by the governor.

Missouri’s Right-to-Work Bill: Not as Soon as the Legislature Intended but Perhaps Sooner Than the Unions Want

In February of 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, which was intended to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the United States. Senate Bill 19 was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2017. In response, unions mounted petition drives and filed signatures in support of Referendum Petition 2018-R002 with the Missouri secretary of state. 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. On November 22, 2017, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft issued a certificate of sufficiency declaring that Referendum Petition 2018-R002 had received the requisite number of signatures and that Missouri voters would decide whether to enact a right-to-work law in November 2018 (unless a different date was designated by the Missouri General Assembly). Right to work will become the law of Missouri only if ratified by a majority of the Missouri electorate, as is required by Article III, Section 52(b) of the Missouri Constitution.

Kansas City, Missouri, Jumps on the “Ban Wagon,” Passes Ban the Box Ordinance

On February 1, 2018, the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri, enacted a ban-the-box ordinance that limits an employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making hiring or promotional decisions. The ordinance will go into effect on June 9, 2018.

Kansas City, Missouri, Enacts "Ban-the-Box-Plus" Ordinance

On February 1, 2018, the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council passed restrictions on employers’ inquiries into, and use of, criminal record information. The ordinance becomes effective on June 9, 2018. The City had already removed the criminal history question from employment applications for government positions in 2014. Similar to the Missouri Human Rights Act, the ordinance applies to private employers with six or more employees.

Kansas City Decides 2018 Is The Year For Private Employers To “Ban the Box”

The City Council in Kansas City, Missouri just passed an extension of its 2013 public sector “ban the box” rule, which will soon be extended to apply to private sector employers. The new ordinance will go into effect on June 9, 2018, requiring most businesses operating in the city to adjust their hiring practices.

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.