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This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Unemployment Benefits are Taxable

Unemployment Benefits are TaxableThose who claimed unemployment benefits in 2014 will need to file a federal 1099-G Form. The 1099-G Form reports the payments received during the calendar year for federal income tax returns. If you had taxes withheld from your claim and did not receive a Form 1099-G in the mail, you may access the form online.

While claiming unemployment, you can choose to have the DES withhold 10 percent of your weekly benefits for federal income tax. If you choose not to have the DES withhold your taxes, you must submit the tax amount at the end of the year.

You must authorize with the DES to request or change federal tax withholding from benefit payments by filling out the Authorization for Federal Income Tax Withholding from Unemployment Benefits form. You can change your withholding information at any time. The changes will be effective the week your authorization is received.

If you have questions about the 1099-G Form, e-mail us at esuiclaims@labor.mo.gov.

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Resolution to Improve Workplace Safety

Resolution to Improve Workplace SafetyMany workplace injuries and illnesses occur due to a lack of training, supervision, or experience. Hazardous environments or working conditions can also lead to injuries and occupational diseases. Employers have a responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to ensure their workplaces are in compliance with established safety and health laws.

The Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program offers safety and health consultation services to assist businesses in reducing injuries and illnesses in the workplace. The program offers FREE and confidential safety and health advice to small and medium-sized businesses across the state, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultants work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) is an exemplary program available for small employers with 250 employees or less who participate in the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program. It is designed to honor small businesses that operate effective safety and health management programs. SHARP employers can receive a one to two-year exemption from OSHA general inspections.

The Department strives to meet the needs of both businesses and workers. By helping businesses recognize and correct workplace hazards, employees gain a safer working environment while businesses potentially lower workers’ compensation rates.

Whether you’re beginning a business or just looking to make an improvement, start the New Year off right; make a resolution to improve workplace safety by signing up for On-Site!

To learn more about On-Site and SHARP, visit our Workplace Safety page, or call 573-522-SAFE.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Black History Month

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Black History MonthOriginally established as Black History Week in February 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson, this tribute was expanded into Black History Month in 1976 as part of our nation’s bicentennial. Every President since Gerald Ford has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, including our current leader and the first African American to hold the office, President Barack Obama.

This year’s theme is A Century of Black Life, History and Culture, marking the 51st anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and chronicling the important milestones reached by African Americans and others in the battle for civil rights and equal treatment under the law.  As President Obama said in his 2013 official proclamation, “National African American History Month is a time to tell those stories of freedom won and honor the individuals who wrote them.  We look back to the men and women who helped raise the pillars of democracy, even when the halls they built were not theirs to occupy.  We trace generations of African Americans, free and slave, who risked everything to realize their God-given rights.  We listen to the echoes of speeches and struggle that made our Nation stronger, and we hear again the thousands who sat in, stood up, and called out for equal treatment under the law.  And we see yesterday's visionaries in tomorrow's leaders, reminding us that while we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing.”

To celebrate Black History Month in Missouri, participate in an event near you:

Western Missouri

  • Experience a piece of history at the recreation of Harlem’s acclaimed 135th Street Branch Library on February 7, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The all-ages Meet and Greet Celebration features living-history portrayals of notable African-Americans and includes children’s storytelling. The festivities will take place at the Springfield-Greene County Library, Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 East Central Street. Contact the library at 417-862-0135. 
  • On February 26, join the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey for their annual Black History Month offering, Setting the Stage, featuring live performances accompanied by an African-American dance history slide-show. For more information, call 816-471-6003.
  • Catch the Black History Month Book-to-Film series, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in February, presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC’s Black Studies Program. Visit the website for further details or to RSVP.
  • Learn about the Secret Songs of the Underground Railroad at the February 6 Friday Night Family Fun at the Plaza Branch with vocalist and cultural historian Brother John as he informs and entertains with song and storytelling geared for the younger audience.  For additional performance dates and locations, or to RSVP, visit the website.
  • On February 26 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Nelson-Atkins’ Artist Talk spotlights contemporary artist Hank Willis Thomas with his presentation Celebrate the Reimagined African Galleries. Be sure to purchase a ticket to attend the event.
  • The Springfield Library Center will be honoring the Monarch’s first Negro League World Series championship on February 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Library Center, 4653 South Campbell Avenue.   Contact the library at 417-882-0714.
  • Kansas City’s The Local Investment Commission (LINC), along with its partners, the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Kansas City Public Library, is again producing and sharing its annual Black History educational poster set and booklets. For Black History Month 2015, the set focuses on African American educators from Kansas City and the surrounding region who contributed significantly to the cultural life of the United States during the 20th century. Obtain material copies at the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and select branches of the Mid-Continent Public Library. Visit the website to view the materials in advance.
  • Peruse the historical artifacts and exhibits at Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 East 17th Terrace, Kansas City. The Archives is a center for learning and research into the African American experience the central United States, with specific focus in the Kansas City Missouri region. Enjoy the popular collections which include those on education, children, religion, and civil rights.  Plan your visit to the Archives by appointment. For further information call 816-221-1600.
  • Visit St. Joseph’s Black Archives Museum, 3406 Frederick Avenue, in honor of Black History Month. The museum features exhibits on such topics as the Underground Railroad, the Middle Passage, desegregation, education, sports, and other aspects of African-American history in St. Joseph. The Black Archives features a Hall of Fame, created to showcase the achievements and contributions of St. Joseph’s African-American citizens. The museum also includes an exhibit on St. Joseph’s best known musician, the “Father of the Tenor Sax,” Coleman Randolph Hawkins. Visiting hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on major holidays.

Central Missouri

  • Join Columbians in celebration of Black History Month on February 5 at 7 p.m.to view and discuss Twelve Years a Slave at the Armory Sports and Recreation Center, 701 East Ash. Don’t miss the family-friendly Gospel Explosion & Soul Food Dinner Musical Celebration on February 22 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke UMC, 204 East Ash, Columbia, featuring local gospel music and a soul food feast.
  • The Friends of the Missouri State Archives presents State Historical Society of Missouri Executive Director, Gary Kremer, and his enlightening talk Race and Meaning: The African American Experience in Missouri on February 26, beginning at 7 p.m., at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, 600 West Main Street, Jefferson City. The free presentation will focus on Missouri-centric African American experiences of past and present. Contact Emily Luker at emily.luker@sos.mo.gov for information.
  • The Missouri River Regional Library, 214 Adams Street, Jefferson City, will feature Dr. Della Cook Gillis, Director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Central Missouri, and will address the significance and impact of the lives Kansas City train porters and contemporary civil rights. The event will be held in the MRRL Art Gallery on Feb. 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information contact Madeline Matson at 573-634-6064, extension 250, or visit the online event calendar.
  • Catch performer and Emmy-award winner Bobby Norfolk in his historical theatrical production Through the Eyes of York. The show, which will explore equality and York’s role as a full member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, will take place in the Friends Room, Columbia Public Library, 100 West Broadway, on February 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For additional information call 573-443-3161.

Eastern Missouri

  • Enjoy the Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration, featuring Broadway star Patti Austin, on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Louis Symphony’s Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Boulevard. This annual concert celebrates African-American cultures and traditions that have influenced the history of St. Louis, as well as cities around the world. Join conductor Kevin McBeth and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® chorus to commemorate influential leaders who helped shape history. Purchase tickets online or call 314-534-1700.
  • Market Queens:The Story of Black Women Entrepreneurs explores female entrepreneurship from Africa to the New World. Join the discussion at the Maplewood Public Library, 7550 Lohmeyer, Maplewood, on February 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Or catch the Abolitionist: The Life and Death of Elijah Lovejoy on February 26 at 6:30 p.m., also at the Maplewood Public Library. 
  • St. Louis University’s Black Student Alliance will be celebrating Black History Month with a number of events, including a blood drive, soul and jazz celebration, and semi-formal Harambee. Join the group to hear speaker Marc Lamont Hill address the current state of African American lives in the United States, on February 25 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Don’t miss the speaker series lecturer, Hill Harper, on February 25 at 7:30 pm at the Academic Hall Auditorium, Southeast Missouri State University, One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau. For additional information call 573-651-2000.
  • St. Louis County Library honors Black History Month with a series of events.  Be sure to catch keynote speaker and acclaimed author and PBS host Travis Smiley as he addresses the events surrounding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The February 7 presentation will kick off at 7 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters, Main Reading Room, 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard.
  • Enjoy a weekend of international film viewing at St. Louis’ Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park.  The Africa World Documentary Film Festival will take place February 6 – 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  For further information call 314-746-4599 or visit the website.
  • The Center of Creative Arts will present Continuing the Legacy showcasing the African American journey through modern dance on February 6 and 7, at 7p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Join the community discussion directly following the performance.  Purchase tickets at www.cocastl.org.

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