In Pittman v. Cook Paper Recycling Corp., WD 77973 (Mo. App. W.D. Oct. 27, 2015) a divided panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District affirmed the dismissal of an employee’s claim of discrimination based on sexual orientation under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA). The majority opinion held Missouri law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, the court left open the possibility that future claims may be brought by plaintiffs who specifically allege discrimination based on gender stereotyping. Relying on recent interpretations of federal law by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the dissent opined that Missouri law does prohibit sexual orientation discrimination because the MHRA makes it unlawful to discriminate based on “sex.”
Arbitration agreements have been a roller coaster for Missouri employers. Recently, in State ex rel. Hewitt v. Kerr, the Missouri Supreme Court enforced such an agreement, sending an employee’s discrimination lawsuit to arbitration. But overall, courts in Missouri have restricted the enforceability of arbitration agreements entered into between employees and employers. This month, the Missouri Court of Appeals continued that trend in Bowers v. Asbury St. Louis Lex, LLC, No. ED102229 (July 7, 2015). In Bowers, the court analyzed an arbitration agreement, which included a clause that purportedly allowed the employer to modify the agreement unilaterally and retroactively.
In recent years, Missouri courts have seemed reluctant to enforce arbitration agreements entered into between employers and employees. But in a recent decision, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed that trend and compelled arbitration of an employee’s age-discrimination claim.
President Obama has made increasing the federal minimum wage a priority for the administration due in no small part to sustained union efforts over the past few years—including “worker center” protests and campaigns aimed at the hospitality industry, such as “Fight for 15” and “Fast Food Forward” To this end, President Obama issued Executive Order 13658 on February 12, 2014, announcing an increase in the minimum wage rate to $10.10 per hour for workers on federal service and construction contracts….
The Missouri Court of Appeals rang in the New Year by issuing an opinion that continues the trend in Missouri of restricting the enforceability of arbitration clauses. In light of this decision, employers should revisit their arbitration agreements to determine whether they are still enforceable under Missouri law.
Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? The Missouri Court of Appeals rang in 2015 by refusing to enforce an arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee. The decision continues the robust trend in Missouri of restricting the enforceability of arbitration clauses. If your company has an arbitration agreement…..
This summer, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision that will affect arbitration agreements relied on by employers across the state. The decision—one of many in a recent trend of Missouri cases restricting the enforceability of arbitration clauses—serves as a cautious reminder for employers to continue asking a critical question:…..