Missouri’s Public Sector Labor Law Overhaul Hits a Snag

March 19, 2019 Advisory

A St. Louis County Circuit Court judge has enjoined H.B. 1413, one of the 77 bills that former Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law on his last day in office, June 1, 2018.

H.B. 1413 overhauled much of Missouri’s public sector labor law, changing the process for selecting and retaining public sector union representation and restricting the scope and conduct of collective bargaining for all public employees, including public school teachers, with the exception of employees represented by “public safety labor organizations.”

H.B. 1413 implemented many sweeping changes to non-public safety labor law in Missouri, including the following examples:

  • Public entities can no longer voluntarily recognize a union as the exclusive bargaining representative for employees. Instead, such recognition must arise only from a state-administered election.
  • Unions are subject to recertification requirements every three years.
  • Labor agreements must reserve the public entity’s rights (i) to hire, promote, assign, direct, transfer, discipline and discharge employees; (ii) to make, amend and rescind work rules and standard operating procedures; and (iii) to modify unilaterally“economic terms” when the public entity “deems it necessary” for “good cause.”

The day before H.B. 1413 was set to take effect last year, several public sector unions filed suit in St. Louis County, seeking to enjoin the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations from enforcing the new law. After more than six months of litigation and motion practice, Judge Joseph Walsh entered a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of H.B. 1413 until final judgment is rendered or superseded by further court order. Judge Walsh found that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of the suit that challenges whether the law violates the Missouri Constitution.

An appeal of the circuit court’s preliminary injunction is expected; however, in the meantime, public sector employers in Missouri should adhere to the collective bargaining rules that were in place leading up to the Aug. 28, 2018, effective date for H.B. 1413.

Contact Us
  • Worldwide
  • Boston, MA
  • Denver, CO
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • London, England
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wilmington, DE
Worldwide
abstract image of world map
Boston, MA
800 Boylston St.
30th Floor
Boston, MA 02199
Google Maps
Boston, Massachusetts
Denver, CO
4643 S. Ulster St.
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80237
Google Maps
Denver, Colorado
Dublin, Ireland
Fitzwilliam Hall, Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2, Ireland
Google Maps
Edwardsville, IL
115 N. Second St.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Google Maps
Edwardsville, Illinois
Jefferson City, MO
101 E. High St.
First Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Google Maps
Jefferson City, Missouri
Kansas City, MO
2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 1500
Kansas City, MO 64108
Google Maps
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, NV
1980 Festival Plaza Drive, Suite 750
One Summerlin
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Google Maps
Las Vegas, Nevada
London, England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE
Google Maps
Miami, FL
355 Alhambra Circle
Suite 1250
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Google Maps
Photo of Miami, Florida
New York, NY
7 Times Square, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
New York City skyline
Philadelphia, PA
2005 Market Street
29th Floor, One Commerce Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Princeton, NJ
100 Overlook Center
Second Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Google Maps
Princeton, New Jersey
Salt Lake City, UT
201 South Main Street
Suite 750
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Google Maps
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Louis, MO
7700 Forsyth Blvd.
Suite 1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
Google Maps
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington, D.C.
1050 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Google Maps
Photo of Washington, D.C. with the Capitol in the foreground and Washington Monument in the background.
Wilmington, DE
1007 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Google Maps
Wilmington, Delaware