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The Missouri General Assembly is moving forward with a bill that would create a workers compensation claim database for use by employers when hiring job candidates.
S.B. 526 passed the Missouri Senate on Thursday on a 26-7 vote, according to published reports. It is now being considered by the state House, according to the general assembly website.
The bill would require the Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation to develop and maintain the database, according to text of the bill posted online. If passed, the database would be implemented by July 1, 2015.
Claim records would only be retrievable by employers during a pre-hiring period in which job candidates provide written consent for a company to search for claim records under their name, the bill reads. Records in the database would cite the date of any workers comp claims by a potential employee and whether the claim remains open.
Employers cannot “compel or coerce” potential employees to provide written consent to acquire any workers comp claim records, and cannot require candidates to provide consent as a condition of employment, the bill reads.
The Missouri General Assembly passed a similar database bill last year, but that legislation did not include provisions that would allow job candidates to opt out of database screenings, according to the text of the bill posted online.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the previous bill, S.B. 34, in July, citing privacy concerns for job candidates.