A workers' safety advocacy nonprofit organization is condemning Senate Bill 1, which was passed today by the Senate Small Business Committee. This bill is being pushed by business lobbyists as worker's compensation reform but would actually excuse corporations of their legal responsibility of providing adequate relief to fatally injured workers and their families suffering from terminal cancer.
Under the current Missouri workers compensation law, cancer victims and victims of other work-related diseases have the right to bring suit against an employer who failed to meet their duty to warn employees. In the event it is passed, the bill would remove this right. It would also require workers to file a claim through the Missouri workers compensation program instead.
In 2012, Governor Nixon vetoed a similar bill stating its intent was to minimize the legal rights of workers who are suffering the effects of serious or deadly occupational diseases.
Opponents of the bill are urging the General Assembly to follow the Governor's example and send a message that the well-being of Missouri employees takes precedence over corporations who may not value the health and safety of their workers.
Read more at St. Louis today.