Summary of the Perfected Version of the Bill


HB 2099 -- WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT (Elmer)


COMMITTEE OF ORIGIN: Committee on Workforce Development and

Workplace Safety


This bill establishes the Whistleblower Protection Act which

places in statute existing common law exceptions to the at-will

employment doctrine making it an unlawful employment practice for

an employer to discharge or retaliate against an individual who

is a protected person. The bill:

 

(1) Defines the term "because of" or "because,” as it relates to

a decision or action, to mean the protected criterion was a

motivating factor;


(2) Defines “proper authorities” as a governmental or law

enforcement agency or an officer or the employee’s human

resources representative employed by the employer;


(3) Defines “protected person” as a person who has reported to

the proper authorities an unlawful act of the employer or its

agent or serious misconduct of the employer or its agent that

violates a state law or regulation or a rule of a governmental

entity; a person who has refused to carry out a directive issued

by the 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;


(4) Specifies that the provisions of the act will provide the

exclusive remedy for any and all unlawful employment practices

described in the act and voids any common law causes of action to

the contrary;


(5) Specifies that a protected person aggrieved by a violation

will have a private right of action for damages in a circuit

court. The Missouri Human Rights Commission will not have

jurisdiction to review or adjudicate claims brought under these

provisions. The court may grant as relief, as it deems

appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary

restraining order, or other order and may award to the plaintiff

actual and punitive damages;


(6) Specifies that any party to an action under these provisions

may demand a trial by jury; and


(7) Specifies that the court may award the plaintiff actual and

punitive damages. An award of damages may include all future

pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience,

mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary

losses, and punitive damages awarded. The amount of punitive damages awarded for each complainant cannot exceed $50,000 in the

case of an employer with less than 101 employees in each of 20 or

more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year; up to

$100,000 for an employer with 101 to 200 employees; up to

$200,000 for an employer with 201 to 500 employees; and up to

$300,000 for an employer with more than 500 employees.


FISCAL NOTE: No impact on state funds in FY 2013, FY 2014, and

FY 2015.


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