May 10, 2017
Authored by: Charles Jellinek
On Monday, May 8, 2017, the Missouri Legislature passed Senate Bill 66. Senate Bill 66 amended a number of sections of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act. Of significant note for employment litigators, Senate Bill 66 modifies the burden of proof for workers’ compensation retaliation claims under §287.780 R.S.Mo. This change was a direct response to the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., 433 S.W.3d 371 (Mo. 2014).
In Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., the plaintiff alleged he was fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the employer. The Missouri Supreme Court ultimately reversed and held that to make a submissible claim of retaliation under §287.780 R.S.Mo., “an employee must demonstrate his or her filing of a workers’ compensation claim was a ‘contributing factor’ to the employer’s discrimination or the employee’s discharge.” The Templemire decision was