2012 Business Climate Agenda Unveiled
January 3, 2012 – Associated Industries of Missouri and many other business organizations are joining forces to improve the business climate in Missouri in the 2012 legislative session that begins tomorrow.
Business leaders present 2012 Business Climate Agenda
“These common sense tools will make Missouri a better place to do business – for our existing employers and for future employers in the Show-Me State,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, at today’s press conference in the Missouri Capitol.
McCarty explained the group’s efforts for employment law reform: “The goal is to make sure we observe the federal standard in discrimination cases. Employers should be held liable for discrimination only when discrimination is a “motivating” factor in the employers decision. Whistle-blower protection should apply only when the alleged “whistle-blower” is alerting authorities to an illegal act. And employees that are dismissed for violations of federal and state law (including discrimination or harrassment under the Human Rights Act) should not be entitled to unemployment benefits.”
AIM President/CEO Ray McCarty
The group will also address two fixes to the worker’s compensation system in Missouri that will ensure occupational diseases are still covered by the worker’s compensation system and that will prevent employees from suing each other in work comp injury cases. Combined in the same bill will be reforms to the Second Injury Fund that will dramatically reduce expenditures from the Fund and reduce employer’s liability for interest on unpaid claims with modest increases in the Fund surcharge. “The idea that someone can be 150% disabled and still working makes no sense,” said McCarty. “AIM members are simply fed up with the current system and believe we must end this absurdity.”
Finally, the group will push for tort reform that will attempt to reduce frivolous lawsuits by instituting a “one-way loser pays” system – if a plaintiff files a lawsuit and loses, they must pay the attorney’s fees of the defendant. The legislation will also protect business owners when illegal trespassers are injured on the premises of the business.
Associated Industries of Missouri will also pursue other agenda items in addition to those supported by this group. We will write about those in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or would like to assist us in our efforts, please call us at 573-634-2246 and ask for membership information.
Photos courtesy of Rachel Groner, Associated Industries of Missouri (c) 2012, used by permission.