Unions sue over change to Missouri state employee law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – State employee unions are suing to block a new Missouri law that gave administrators greater leeway in hiring, firing and promoting some state workers.

The unions announced the lawsuit Wednesday. Unions involved include the Service Employees International Union, Communications Workers of America, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

At issue is a law that made most state workers at-will employees, which means they can be fired for any reason.

Supporters say the changes will give state government managers more flexibility and allow them to hire from a wider pool of job applicants.

But the unions argue it unconstitutionally infringes on state workers’ collective bargaining rights.

Office of Administration spokeswoman Brittany Ruess declined to comment on the lawsuit.