The state Chamber says a bill that will make it harder to get unemployment benefits will benefit both employees and employers.
The bill changes the definition of “misconduct” in relation to employment, so that it is harder for people to get unemployment benefits after doing things like violating an employer’s rules or even state standards that could get an employer in trouble.
Lawmakers backing the bill gave examples during debate including employees who urinated off of buildings or fell asleep on the job, yet were still able to draw benefits, and said the bill is needed to keep such things from happening again.
Vice President of Governmental Affairs with the Missouri Chamber, Tracy King, says fewer people getting benefits takes pressure off the unemployment trust fund.
“I think this is a common sense first step in what we need to do to try to shore up the unemployment trust fund and the system that’s out there,” says King, “so that it is out there for the people who truly need it.”
King says it was a series of compromises that led to Governor Jay Nixon (D) allowing the bill to become law this year, after vetoing similar legislation the past three years.
“There was some opposition with the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys last year. We worked with them on trying to compromise on this legislation, as well as the unions,” says King. “We felt like we found common ground.
She says the bill also includes language Governor Nixon wanted.
“The Governor vetoed a similar provision last year and in that veto message he stated that he needed some additional language in order for us to be in compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor. We included that this year.”
The bill takes effect August 28.