When you are injured on the job, Missouri’s workers’ compensation, or work comp, laws are in place to protect you. Sort of.
Work comp has always been a compromise- injured workers get medical paid for, some of their lost wages and a lump sum for disability without proving any fault on the employer. The lump sum has typically underpaid large injuries and overpaid smaller ones according to some, but at least there was a payment for the loss.
When you have a pre existing condition and a work injury makes it even harder for you to find work, Missouri’s Second Injury Fund has traditionally tried to fill the gap. For example, if you were blind in one eye and then a work injury took your other eye, your employer is only responsible for the eye you hurt at work, while you are now totally blind and employment is much harder to find. The Second Injury fund stood in the gap to pay for the extra disability you have due to the total blindness.
This system served us well for decades- employers were not penalized for hiring those with pre existing problems, and workers were not left holding the bag for a work related injury either. But the folks in Jefferson City (the legislature) are trying to tinker with the system. After leaving it vastly underfunded in 2005, they are now trying to kill the system completely.
Call your legislator. Remind him or her that it is unfair to create business profits by destroying human rights, and that you will remember his or her vote when it is your turn at the ballot box.