Bill creating consistent workplace standards across the state moves through House committee

In recent years, county and city officials have passed ordinances that make Missouri a confusing patchwork of laws and regulations. This patchwork makes it difficult to market Missouri as a whole and also makes it difficult for employers that operate in multiple communities in the state.

For example, the cities of Jersey City, New York City, Portland (OR), San Francisco and Seattle all require private employers to offer paid sick leave to employees. Additionally, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Francisco, San Jose, and most recently Seattle and Chicago, will have minimum wages that surpass the state and federal wage.

The Missouri Chamber has vowed to advocate for legislation that would protect Missouri from these mandates, specifically targeting ordinances that mandate leave beyond the FMLA, increased minimum wage and whether or not an employee can inquire about an applicant’s criminal history.

Columbia, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction to implement new changes such as “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on an employment application.  The law, which took effect on December 1, 2014, only allows employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal history after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment.

Rowden feels decisions about wages, sick leave and ban the box need to take place at the state level so there are consistent policies statewide, rather than each municipality having different policies.

“We appreciate Rep. Rowden sponsoring this bill as it’s an important piece of the Missouri Chamber’s policy agenda,” Tracy King, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, testified in favor of the bill. “This is important to our members because without this legislation every city in the state can impose their own regulations on employers. This creates a nightmare of bureaucracy and really undermines the ability of Missouri to be known as a business friendly state and to compete for jobs.”

13 other states have enacted similar legislation as this is becoming a nationwide problem. For more information on this legislation, please contact Ms. King at or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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About mochamber

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the quality of life in our state depends on quality jobs for Missourians. To that end, we have one simple mission: to protect and advance Missouri business.

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