A bill that strips protections for Missouri workers diagnosed with terminal cancer was passed through the Small Business Senate Committee on Saturday.
Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senator Scott Rupp (R), is being touted by business lobbyists as a worker compensation reform bill. It is anything but that. Instead, it eliminates corporations’ legal responsibility to support workers and their families diagnosed with terminal cancer as a result of their jobs.
Under the current Missouri workers compensation law, victims of cancer and other work-related diseases have the right to bring suit against an employer who failed to meet their duty to warn employees. If passed, the bill would eliminate this right and require workers to file a claim through the Missouri workers compensation program instead.
Protect Missouri Workers Chairman Robert Kelley called the bill a direct assault on the health and safety of Missouri workers and families. “SB1 gives a free pass to companies who knowingly exposed
hard-working Missouri citizens to poisonous toxins,” he said in a release.
Protect Missouri Workers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Missouri residents who have invested years into building successful careers and were then injured on the job through no fault of their own. Comprised of Missouri workers, families, physicians and ordinary citizens, Protect Missouri Workers’ purpose is to support workers and their families severely injured, killed or otherwise harmed by exposure to deadly asbestos and other toxic contaminants in the workplace.
Last year, Gov. Nixon vetoed a similar bill. Nixon said it would minimize the legal rights of workers suffering from serious and deadly occupational diseases.
Visit www.protectmissouriworkers.org to stand up for Missouri cancer victims by sending a letter to your Missouri legislator against this bill.