JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.
In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers’ compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.
Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers’ compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.
State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.