New Workers Compensation Retaliation Standard in Missouri
Missouri law forbids companies from retaliating against injured workers who file workers compensation claims. If an employee is fired, demoted or forced into resigning, the hurt employee can bring a Workers Compensation Retaliation Claim. Now, we have a new workers compensation retaliation standard in Missouri.
Exclusive Causation – The Old Way
In April of 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court significantly changed the standard for injured employees to bring workers compensation retaliation claims. Not only are employees entitled to all 3 major benefits under Missouri Statute 287, but they are also entitled to fair treatment after returning to work. Before 2014, the employee had to prove the boss fired or demoted him entirely because he filed a work comp claim. This standard was called Exclusive Causation. This was not entirely fair because meeting the Exclusive Causation standard was nearly impossible for hurt workers to meet and evidence difficult to collect.
The new “Contributing Factor” standard allows employees to show that their boss firing them was only in part due to filing the Workers Compensation Claim. The Missouri Supreme Court adjusted this standard in Templemire v. W&M Welding and struck a major blow for hurt worker’s who may have workers compensation retaliation claims.
Contributing Factor – The New Standard
In Templemire v. W & M Welding, the employee injured his foot during work. After healing and returning to work, the employee was resting his foot. His employer then fired Templemire, citing his failure to clean a railing as instructed. Templemire immediately filed a workers compensation retaliation claim because the employer violated the Missouri Workers Compensation Act. After the jury ruled in the employer’s favor, Templemire appealed. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned the jury, ruling that an employee must only demonstrate that exercising his workers compensation rights was a contributing factor in the employer’s decision to discharge the employee. This is an important shift that significantly adds to protection for injured workers in Missouri.
Stronger Workers Compensation Retaliation Protection
This change in Missouri law gives employees a vital option when their employer retaliates against them. The contributing factor standard forces employers to treat workers fairly when they return to work. Otherwise, the worker can recover damages for wrongful termination against the employer.
In Missouri the new Contributing Factor Standard changes the landscape for workers compensation claims. Specifically, it strengthens protection for employees against discrimination.
If you have been treated unfairly at work or have even been fired by your boss because you filed a workers compensation claim, you have rights. Specifically, you have a workers compensation retaliation claim that must be proven under the Contributing Factor Standard. The BiState Law Center wants to fight for you and protect those rights, call us today at (888) 519-2215.