Eighth Circuit Casts Doubt on Cross-Plan Offsetting for ERISA Health Plans

Employers may soon find themselves reviewing and revising health plan master documents and summary plan descriptions (SPDs) and administrative service agreements with respect to an obscure claims administration practice known as “cross-plan offsetting”—following a recent federal appeals court ruling.

“Ban The Box” Turns 20: Decoding the Current Framework

Twenty years ago, on a warm summer day, Hawaii enacted a restriction on employer inquiries into an applicant’s work history until after a conditional offer of employment. Intended to give applicants with criminal histories a fair shot at employment, the law—the first state “ban the box” law—crystalized a movement that, in time, would yield similar restrictions in 12 states and 17 localities (for private employers). The result is a crisscrossing jumble of requirements with little uniformity, putting employers in a difficult position when dealing with applicants (and sometimes even existing employees) in different jurisdictions.

Union (In)Security: SCOTUS Prohibits Public Sector Union Security and Missouri May Tip The Private Sector Scales

The decades-long battle over union security faces two important pivot points during the summer of 2018. On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States handed unions a major defeat in the season’s first major fight. With its 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, the Court prohibited union security in the public sector, even in the form of “fair share” fees aimed at representational expenses, as impermissible violations of the First Amendment.

Missouri’s Right-to-Work Bill: Not as Soon as the Legislature Intended but Perhaps Sooner Than the Unions Want

In February of 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, which was intended to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the United States. Senate Bill 19 was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2017. In response, unions mounted petition drives and filed signatures in support of Referendum Petition 2018-R002 with the Missouri secretary of state.

New Year, New Pay: A State-by-State Roundup of Minimum Wage Increases for 2018

In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.

Missouri Court Tackles Sex Stereotyping, Highlights Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues

While nearly half of all states expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Missouri is not one of those states. However, the Missouri Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in favor of a gay employee who filed a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination based on sex stereotyping.

Missouri Supreme Court Punts Two Lawsuits in a Row, on Direct Flights to Arbitration

Arbitration agreements have faced tackles and turbulence in a series of cases litigated in Missouri courts over the past few years. In the fall of 2017, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued two favorable arbitration agreement decisions: one involved an aviation school, the other arose from a training facility lease with the Rams football team, which has since left Missouri for California and was previously involved in a different arbitration-related case in Missouri.

Unions Fight Back Against Missouri Right-to-Work Law

On February 6, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, making Missouri our nation’s 28th right-to-work state. Senate Bill 19, codified as Section 290.590 of the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo), was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2017. The unions, fearing significant revenue losses, mounted petition drives to reverse the actions of the legislature and governor.

Missouri Governor Greitens Signs Bill Amending MHRA, Bringing State Law More Into Line With Federal Law

On June 30, 2017, Governor Greitens signed a bill which makes sweeping reforms to the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA). The MHRA is the state of Missouri’s primary anti-discrimination statute. The MHRA codifies for the state many of the federal anti-discrimination provisions found in the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Missouri Human Rights Act—The Playing Field Has Been Leveled

The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) is the state of Missouri’s primary anti-discrimination statute. The MHRA codifies for the state many of the federal anti-discrimination provisions found in the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On May 8, 2017, the Missouri House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 43 (SB 43). The bill, which significantly modifies the MHRA and also codifies and limits workplace “whistleblower” liability, is now on the desk of newly-elected Governor Eric Greitens, who is expected to sign the legislation.

St. Louis’s Minimum Wage Increases to $10 Per Hour on May 5

On May 4, 2017, the circuit court lifted the 2015 injunction on St. Louis’s minimum wage ordinance pursuant to the Supreme Court of Missouri’s mandate in Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis (No. SC95401). As a result, all covered employers must immediately comply with the requirements of the ordinance, which include paying a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour to all employees working at least 20 hours per year within the geographic limits of the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis’s Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect in the Coming Days

On April 25, 2017, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued its mandate in Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis (No. SC95401), paving the way for St. Louis City’s minimum wage ordinance to take effect, which will increase the minimum wage covered employers must pay covered employees from $7.70 to $10.00 per hour.

Eighth Circuit Methodically Rejects Plaintiff’s Allegations of Pretext in Age Discrimination Case

On March 1, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision affirming summary judgment in an age discrimination claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  Although the case, Nash v. Optomec, Inc., did not create new law, the appellate court reinforced many important principles that apply not only to age discrimination cases but also other types of discrimination cases.

The St. Louis Minimum Wage: City’s Press Release Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In our recent blog post, “The St. Louis Minimum Wage Returns From the Dead,” we reviewed the implications of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis (No. SC95401) decision, which overturned a 2015 injunction that had enjoined St. Louis’s minimum wage ordinance. Late last Friday, the City of St. Louis issued a press release regarding the implementation of the ordinance increasing the city’s minimum wage rate.

Missouri Becomes 28th Right-to-Work State

On February 6, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, making Missouri our nation’s 28th right-to-work state. In the last five years, five other states have passed right to work legislation (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Kentucky). As per Article III, Secs. 20(a) and 29 of the Missouri Constitution, Missouri’s right to work statute will become effective on August 28, 2017.