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

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Missouri employers will realize $186 million in tax savings as state repays its unemployment insurance trust fund obligation early

News

On June 17, Governor Jay Nixon announced that the state has retired its Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund obligation one year ahead of prior projections, saving Missouri employers $186 million in federal taxes for 2014. 

“Our relentless focus on fiscal discipline and economic growth has allowed Missouri to meet its obligation early, saving Missouri employers millions in taxes,” Gov. Nixon said. “Today, businesses are hiring, our economy is growing, and now that we’ve returned our unemployment trust fund to solvency, there is simply no need to inflict additional hardships on those Missourians who have not yet found work.”

During the national recession, expenditures from Missouri’s UI Trust Fund were larger than revenue received from Missouri employers. In 2009, Missouri became one of 36 states that received a loan from the United States Treasury to ensure the Division of Employment Security (DES) could continue to make payments to Missourians who experienced job loss during the Great Recession.  Since then, the loan has been repaid in full. 

“Missouri’s indebtedness to the UI Trust Fund has been repaid,” said Ryan McKenna, Director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. “Based on current projections of the fund, we do not anticipate the need for additional borrowing this year, therefore saving Missouri businesses millions of dollars in federal taxes. The Department will continue to work with workers and employers to keep costs for businesses low and move Missouri’s economy forward.”

On May 27, 2014, the U.S. Treasury applied the March Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) payment of $44 million to Missouri’s UI Trust Fund.  This payment fully repaid Missouri’s outstanding UI loan.  Based on current projections of the fund, no additional borrowing is anticipated.  By retiring its obligations early, Missouri businesses will see their FUTA credits restored, saving them $84 per employee in FUTA taxes. Missouri businesses will owe interest on the federal loan for calendar year 2014, which is due September 30.

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20th Annual DWC Conference Recap

Mine & Cave Safety Program

The 20th Annual Division of Workers' Compensation Conference kicked off at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach Monday, June 9, with a golf tournament to raise money for the Kids' Chance of Missouri Scholarship.

Following the tournament there were several informative sessions relating to workers' compensation offered to attendees. This year's conference offered 22 sessions with more than 25 experts presenting legal, medical, safety, demographic, and economic issues related to workers' compensation. With more than 600 attendees and 120 exhibitors, there were several opportunities for attendees to network and learn about changes in the law and other issues related to workers’ compensation.

One highlight of the conference was keynote speaker Kent Rader. Rader spoke about how humor is a proven tool to combat workplace stress. You can see a quick recap of some of the events at the conference online.

Save the date for next year’s conference: June 8-9, 2015!

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - All People/Freedom

All People/Freedom

The month of July marks the birthday of our Nation and is a time to celebrate the rights and liberties enjoyed by all people of this great land. In June 1776, following persistent conflict between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress convened with the laudable objective of exerting colonial sovereignty. This conference would eventually produce the Declaration of Independence, officially adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and first established as a holiday in 1870. Significantly, the document notes individual rights and freedoms, declaring “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Although not all individuals were effectively included in the application and protection of the rights so outlined in the document, subsequent legislation would prove more inclusive, affording civil rights protection to previously non-covered individuals. As our Nation and the world evolves, so too does our understanding of the needs of Americans and world citizens to maintain and preserve the hard-fought freedoms for all.

In Missouri, civil rights are afforded protection through the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which precludes adverse treatment based on a protected category in employment, places of public accommodation, or housing. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights is the state agency responsible for the enforcement of the MHRA, primarily through the intake and investigation of complaints filed by aggrieved parties and through education and outreach designed to prevent discrimination and foster mutual understanding. If you believe you have been discriminated against due to any category protected under the MHRA, contact MCHR toll-free at 877-781-4236 or take the quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

Celebrate freedom with your fellow Missourians at events held throughout the state this July:

Western Missouri

  • Experience Independence Day at Missouri Town 1855, 8010 East Park Rd., Lee’s Summit, a historic antebellum Missouri village. See what a progressive farming community, spread across some thirty sloping acres, looked like in the mid-1800s. This living history museum uses original structures, furnishings, and equipment and depicts the 19th century lifestyles through interpreters in period attire, authentic field and garden crops, and rare livestock breeds. Highlight your day when you join in the July Fourth Parade along the village streets. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 816-503-4860 or e-mail missouritown@jacksongov.org for more information.
  • THE BIG BANG!, Jackson County’s 4th of July Celebration, will be held at Longview Lake Shelter 13. Enjoy sweeping water views, sky divers, a children’s carnival, a military tribute, and a free concert with rising country rockers Backroad Anthem. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free. To access the shelter, take Interstate 470 to Raytown Road, drive south about two miles, and follow the signs. For more information, call 816-503-4800 or e-mail parksrec@jacksongov.org.
  • KCRiverFest brings Kansas City together for a fun family celebration on July 4th. The festivities will be located at Richard L. Berkley Park, 1298 Riverfront Drive, Kansas City. Enjoy great rock, alternative, country and ragtime music, delicious food, carnival rides and games, and one of the largest fireworks shows in the area. The festival also includes special children's activities in the Kids Zone. Come early before 3 p.m. either day for free admission. For more information, call 816-561-7555.
  • Historic Downtown Parkville, 110 Main St., kicks off its annual July Fourth Celebration on July 2 with the opening of the carnival. There will also be a community parade, pancake breakfast, variety of food vendors, and a big fireworks finale on July 4. Come early and bring the family for a weekend of good, old-fashioned Americana. Call 816-505-2227 for details.

Central Missouri

  • Columbia's 62nd Annual Fourth of July Celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. at Peace Park, located at the corner of Elm and South 8th Streets, and Flat Branch Park, located at the corner of Elm and South 5th Streets, with free entertainment, followed by a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. For additional information, call 573-874-7460.
  • Plan to attend the 2014 Eldon Old Fashioned 4th of July, beginning with the Independence 5K. Registration is at 7 a.m., and the walk/run starts at 7:30 a.m. in front of Eldon Pool, 500 Franklin Ave. There will also be a parade, a pet show, old-fashioned carnival games, and fireworks. For more information, call 573-392-3752.

Eastern Missouri

  • Enjoy free entertainment, a carnival, and fireworks at O’Fallon’s Heritage & Freedom Fest. First to perform on the main stage on July 3 at 6:30 p.m. will be JT Hodges, followed by Chris Cagle at 8:45 p.m. and the Jena “Dusty” Mielke Fireworks Spectacular at 10:15 p.m. Performances on July 4 include BoDeans, Survivor, and Switchfoot begin at 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. on the main stage, and the Fest wraps up with another Mielke fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. All concerts are free and open to the public. For more on the complete schedule, parade route, or details on the Kids’ Zone, along with a host of other information, visit the Fest’s website or contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 636-379-5614 or visit@ofallon.mo.us.
  • Since 1981, the Fair Saint Louis Foundation, in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the National Park Service, has hosted a spectacular celebration featuring live music, educational activities, air shows, and fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend. This year, Fair St. Louis festivities will be held July 3-5 at Art Hill in Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive. Kids will enjoy the games and crafts at the Family Festival Zone, and The Band Perry, Bonnie Raitt and The Fray will headline this year’s entertainment. For more information, call 314-434-3434 or email info@fairsaintlouis.org.
  • Webster Groves Community Days celebrates Independence Day and runs July 2-5 at Memorial Park, located just south of Interstate 44 at the intersection of Elm and Glendale Avenues. The Webster Groves Lions Club also holds its annual carnival and barbecue charity fundraiser during the festivities. Attendees can also enjoy a parade, free entertainment, and the Miss Webster Pageant. For more additional information, call 314-963-5600.
  • The City of Eureka will sponsor a July 4th Celebration in Lions Park, 400 Bald Hill Rd. The event begins at 7 p.m. with free activities for children and a car show. At 7:30 p.m., live music by Borderline will begin, and concessions will be available for a nominal cost from the West St. Louis County Lions Club. On-site parking will not be available for this event. Contact the Eureka Parks and Recreation Department at 636-938-6775 for additional information.
  • Don't miss the annual Wentzville 4th of July Celebration and Parade. Everyone is invited to participate in the parade by making or designing a float. This year's theme is “Star Spangled Salute,” and floats will be judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. There will be live music and fireworks later in the day. For more information, call 636-327-5101 or 636-332-9236.

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