Right-to-work legislation is a growing hot-button issue in Missouri and the debate won’t be going away anytime soon. At Cantor Injury Law, we advocate for unions and all workers regardless of union affiliation. The impact of right-to-work in Missouri will lower pay and result in fewer benefits for everyone.
Lower wages will have a direct impact on the value of work related injuries under Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws. Any decrease in the State Average Weekly Wage used to calculate the value of workers’ compensation claims in our state would have a devastating effect on injured workers, many of whom are already struggling to get by while recovering from serious injuries. This is unacceptable.
Below are my views on this very important issue:
Attorney Mark Cantor of Cantor Injury Law, Explains Why ‘Right-to-Work’ Laws Are Bad for Missourians
St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney explains why the state’s right-to-work bill could spell trouble for employees
St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) March 12, 2015
On Tuesday, Feb. 17, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey opened up about his views on the right-to-work law proposed for the state. He told Missourinet (2/18/2015) writer Mike Lear that he does not support any measure that would block unions or other organizations in support of workers’ rights.
“There’s a reason for the formation of the unions,” Dempsey had commented. “There were people back in the 1900s that exploited workers. Those people needed a voice and the unions helped provide, really, the impetus for an improvement in working conditions that we all enjoy.”
Mark Cantor, founder and attorney with St. Louis, MO, based Cantor Injury Law, agrees with Dempsey’s position on the subject, along with that of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who is expected to veto the bill if it passes in the State Senate.
“All Americans already have the right to work,” Cantor said. “The right-to-work laws are essentially a conspiracy of big business to lessen the pay and benefits of the working class. It hurts most people.”
Cantor, who is a personal injury attorney and has handled cases involving worker’s compensation, also expects Governor Nixon to veto the bill. “The governor knows that right-to-work is not right for working Missourians,” he said.
Dempsey also said that he had serious doubts about the right-to-work bill, saying that it was unlikely to pass due to other economic issues in the state.
“The jury is still out,” according to Cantor, on whether or not the bill would see enough support in the Senate to pass this year.
However, Cantor explained, “Even if it is unsuccessful this session, the increase in conservatives elected to the Missouri legislature means that we will keep seeing this bill brought up year-after-year until the House and Senate have built a two-thirds majority to override the Governor’s veto.”
The other option that would increase the chances of a right-to-work bill’s passing would be the election of a Republican governor in Missouri, Cantor said.
But as Cantor explained, the passage of a right-to-work law could harm workers — especially those who have to file workers’ compensation claims.
“Research out of the Economic Policy Institute shows that there is at least a $1,500 or more loss in annual wages per worker in states that have passed right-to-work laws,” he said. Cantor also explained that workers’ compensation amounts are derived from a formula. Right-to-work laws put downward pressure on wages and alter that formula to favor employers and big business rather than the employees.
“The value of every injury case decreases with right-to-work laws because workers’ compensation is based on the State Average Weekly Wage,” he said. “When the State Average Weekly Wage goes down, the compensation rate for all work injuries also goes down.”