Missouri Senate committee votes to pass Whistleblower
This week, the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and the
Environment Committee voted do pass HB 2099, which would protect employees that
are the whistleblowers that report illegal workplace conduct. The bill is
sponsored by Rep. Kevin Elmer and would specify to whom employees must report
concerns of illegal practices. By codifying this process, the law would also
provide legal protection to employers.
The bill would establish the Whistleblower Protection Act, which would make
it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discharge or retaliate
against an individual who is a protected person. The bill would then become the
exclusive remedy for any and all unlawful employment practices and puts a cap on
the amount of damages a person can receive. However, a court may award the
plaintiff actual and punitive damages that may include all future losses,
emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and loss of
enjoyment of life.
Whistleblower reform was part of a robust package of employment law reforms
introduced at the beginning of the legislative session in legislation originally
filed by Rep. Elmer and Sen. Brad Lager. HB 1219, sponsored by Elmer, was passed
by the General Assembly, but vetoed by Governor Nixon. Although significantly
scaled back from HB 1219, The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is
supportive of HB 2099.
Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry general counsel Rich AuBuchon
testified on behalf of the bill, which needs to be passed out of the committee
before it can be heard on the Senate floor.
For more information about employment law or the Whistleblower Protection
Act, please contact Rich AuBuchon, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber of
Commerce and Industry at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-634-3511.