Associated Industries of Missouri Supports “Whistle Blower” Reform
April 11 – AIM President Ray McCarty testified before a House Committee yesterday in favor of two bills that would reform protections for employees claiming “whistle blower” protection under Missouri’s employment law.
While many committee members expressed agreement with at least some components of HB 2099, a bill that reforms only the “whistle blower” statutes, vigorous discussion ensued when the committee opened testimony on SB 592, a broader bill that aligns Missouri’s discrimination laws with federal discrimination laws on the books today. AIM and other business groups have endorsed both changes, but testified in support of the narrower bill in an attempt to reform at least the whistle blower provisions. McCarty stressed to committee members AIM’s support of the narrower bill on whistle blower, but also explained and answered many questions regarding the discrimination provisions in SB 592.
Governor Jay Nixon vetoed HB 1219 last month. That bill addressed both discrimination and whistle blower reforms. It is unclear whether the Governor supports the more limited bill dealing with only the whistle blower issues.
Under current law, employees may claim whistle blower protection even if they are alerting authorities to an action by the employer that is not illegal or in violation of regulations or public policy. The bill would clarify that protection is available to employees, but only if the company is contemplating an action that would violate the law, regulations or public policy.
The hearing on the bills will be continued.