Missouri considering changes to whistleblowing laws
Every day, workers report to their occupations to perform their daily job activities. These employees know that their employers expect them to complete tasks in a timely and cost-efficient manner. For most companies and their employees, this is the usual routine. As long as the employer is not subjecting their employees to unnecessary safety risks or asking them to break laws, there will generally not be any major problems.
However, when employers break laws, employees may feel obligated to report this wrongdoing to the proper authorities or supervisors. If this is done, the employees will be protected by both federal and state laws regarding whistleblowers. This means that the employers cannot terminate the employees for notifying superiors or officials about the improper activities. If the employer does then fire the worker, the employee may be able to bring claims against these companies.
Recently, a new bill is being proposed that could have a major impact upon all Missouri workers in this type of situation. The bill would create a new statute that would deal specifically with workers who may be entitled to whistleblowing protections, and it would place severe restrictions on workers with these kinds of claims.
The new statute would limit recovery to back wages and other actual expenses (such as medical bills) connected to the event, which is a very harsh cap. The new law also carefully limits the kinds of workers who would be eligible for compensation.
Legislators want to pass this law to help narrow the recovery that could be available. They have expressed concerns over cases that they feel are constantly expanding the definition of employees entitled to whistleblower protections. They believe that these new changes will make things more predictable for employers who have these cases going through the system.
Critics of the bill believe that this law would give an unfair advantage to employers. Similar bills have been vetoed in prior sessions, but, new proposals are seemingly being made each time the legislature meets. If one of these bills does eventually pass, it will make these cases much more difficult.
Because these claims can be so complex, it is important that you receive detailed advice about the options that are available. Those who think that they may have a whistleblowing claim need to speak to an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney will work with you to help present your claims for compensation against your employer. They will have a significant amount of resources available to contest your allegations, and you should have someone protecting your best interests throughout the case.