Missouri Senate approves bill changing unemployment benefits

Mar 13, 2014

Republican lawmakers are trying again to limit the ability of Missouri workers to collect unemployment benefits after being fired for alleged misconduct.

The Senate passed legislation Thursday that would redefine what qualifies as misconduct.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a similar bill last year. He said it could have put Missouri at odds with federal law by permitting consideration of actions outside the job when denying unemployment benefits.

Last year's bill sought to include misconduct that was, quote "reasonably related to the job environment."

This year's bill instead covers conduct that "is connected with work."

The significance of that wording change is unclear. A business group that backs the bill said the state is waiting to hear how federal officials would interpret it.