State Rep. Sara Walsh wants to protect all Missouri workers from having their livelihoods threatened due to a government-enforced shutdown. Walsh filed HB 851 to put an end to the classification of “non-essential workers” and ensure all occupations in the state are designated as essential.  Walsh said it’s imperative to protect not just the workers on the frontline dealing with the pandemic, but all workers who play a vital role in keeping the state’s economy working, and who depend on their jobs to support their families.

“We’re all committed to keeping Missourians safe and healthy during this pandemic, but we must also protect individuals and families who rely on their jobs to pay the bills and stay afloat financially. Too many of the mandated shutdowns have come at the expense of hard-working Missourians because they aren’t deemed essential. I believe all workers and businesses are essential and we should do all we can to protect them from being harmed financially because of a decision made by government bureaucrats,” said Walsh, R-Ashland.   In addition to stating that all occupations in Missouri qualify as essential workers, HB 851 makes it clear the General Assembly occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way the classification of essential workers. The bill says any existing or future orders, ordinances or regulations regarding the classification of essential workers are null and void. It also states that neither the state nor any official, agency, or political subdivision shall issue or adopt any order, ordinance, or regulation concerning which occupations are classified as essential workers. HB 851 now awaits assignment to committee for further discussion.