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   The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.
   In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers' compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.
   Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers' compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.
   State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.
 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses could face significantly higher costs for workers' compensation insurance next year.

An organization that projects workers' compensation insurance costs is forecasting that Missouri insurers will see an 11.6 percent increase in their claim costs in 2014. The projections by the National Council on Compensation Insurance often are used by insurance companies to set the premiums charged to businesses.

The increase is driven partly by a new Missouri law that seeks to shore up a financially troubled fund for disabled workers who suffer additional on-the-job injuries. The law shifts some types of claims out of the Second Injury Fund and into traditional workers' compensation insurance.

Businesses also could face a higher surcharge - on top of their regular workers' compensation premiums - to help replenish the Second Injury Fund.

 

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:30

MO Senate backs bill to replenish disability fund

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have endorsed legislation intended to replenish an insolvent state fund for injured workers.

Senators gave initial approval Tuesday night to a bill that would raise fees on businesses and narrow the type of future injuries covered by the Second Injury Fund. The fund has a $25 million deficit, which is expected to grow unless lawmakers take action.

The Second Injury Fund was created 70 years ago to cover disabled employees who suffer a second work-related injury or illness.

The legislation also seeks to reverse recent court rulings that concluded occupational diseases are not required to be covered by the workers' compensation system. The bill says they are, and it sets limits on how much money can be awarded for exposure to toxins like asbestos.
Published in Local News

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