HCS/SS/SCS/SB 592 - This act abrogates all Missouri case law relating to the public policy exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine. Employers are barred from discharging the following persons:
• a person who reports an unlawful act of the employer or its agent to governmental or law enforcement agencies, officer, or the employee's human resources representative employed by the employer;
• a person who reports serious misconduct of the employer or its agent that violates a clear mandate of public policy as articulated in a constitutional provision, statute, regulation promulgated pursuant to statute, or a rule created by a governmental body;
• a person who refuses to carry out a directive issued by an employer or its agent that, if completed, would be a violation of the law;
• or a person who engages in conduct otherwise protected by statute or regulation.
Punitive damages awarded for whistleblower actions shall not exceed:
• $50,000 for employers with between 5 and 100 employees,
• $100,000 for employers with between 101 and 200 employees,
• $200,000 for employers with between 201 and 500 employees, or
• $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees. Punitive damages shall not be awarded against the state of Missouri or political subdivisions in MHRA cases except for in discriminatory housing practices cases. The damage caps shall not apply in housing cases.
This act is similar to HB 1456 (2006), SB 168 (2007), SB 1046 (2008), HB 799 (2009), HB 227 (2009),SB 374 (2009), HB 1488 (2010), and SB 852 (2010), SB 188 (2011).