Missouri Department of Labor

(Missouri Senate website)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, is reducing his party’s already-paltry numbers in the state Senate by nominating state Sen. Ryan McKenna to become the new director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Nixon’s action, announced Friday, also could have an impact on what’s already seen as among the most competitive state Senate contests in 2014.

(via flickr/ensign_beedrill)

A Missouri state House committee has agreed to hold hearings on reports that some of Gov. Jay Nixon's department heads created hostile work environments for their employees.

The announcement from Republican House speaker Tim Jones of Eureka came the same week that Gracia Backer, the former head of the state's Division of Employment Security, alleged that she was fired from her job for raising concerns about discrimination in her department.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency is alleging discrimination in her firing by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Gracia Backer was replaced in March as director of the Division of Employment Security in Missouri's labor department. Her ouster came at the same time that Nixon appointed Labor Department Director Larry Rebman to a different job.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri workers who lost their lives on the job were remembered today at a Workers' Memorial Day ceremony at the State Capitol.

More than 130 family members of workers who lost their lives attended the ceremony, including Steffenie Quinlan from Bolivar.  Her husband, John, was a laborer who was electrocuted while on the job.

“I am very pleased that they honor(ed) them," Quinlan said.  "Everyone that’s worked on the job and died on the job should be honored.”