The measure would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, but it leaves occupational disease claims within the court system and does not address the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund. State Rep. Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan) sponsored a different workers’ comp bill that addresses the fund and would move occupational disease claims to the workers’ comp system. He hopes it will pass, too.
The vote again fell mostly along party lines, passing 92 to 56, with one lawmaker voting "present." The measure would place occupational disease claims back within the workers’ comp system and would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses. Democrats, including Kevin McManus of Kansas City, objects to moving claims out of the courts and back to workers' comp.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a similar bill last month that originated in the Senate. The House version contains most of the same provisions – it would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, and it would restore occupational disease claims within the workers’ comp system. State Rep. Jacob Hummel (D, St. Louis) debated with the bill’s sponsor, Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan).
The final debate boiled down to safety versus respect for immigrants. State Representative Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she represents constituents from several different nationalities, and added that every member of the House descended from immigrants.