Read 1st time January 23, 2008 and copies ordered printed.





To amend chapter 389, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to counseling for railroad workers.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 389, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 389.985, to read as follows:

            389.985. 1. Every railroad corporation and railway company shall provide or make available to every member of a railroad operating crew involved in an accident on its railway or right-of-way, which results in loss of life or serious bodily injury, counseling services or other critical incident stress debriefing services within forty-eight hours; provided, that the engineer or other operating crew member involved in such accident shall be relieved from duty at the site of the accident with full compensation for all wages he or she would have earned had he or she continued on his or her scheduled or assigned trip or tour of duty; be it further provided, that the engineer or other operating crew member involved in the accident shall be allowed the option at his or her sole discretion to remain off duty for up to seventy-two hours after he or she is relieved from duty.

            2. The railroad corporation, railway company, or authorized agent thereof shall immediately notify all crew members involved in such accidents of their right to exercise such option described in subsection 1 of this section and not in any way harass, coerce, intimidate, or in any other manner whatsoever try to convince or force any crew member to not exercise such option. No railroad corporation, railway company, or its agents shall punish or in any way or manner whatsoever discipline any employee for exercising his or her option to remain off duty.

            3. Any engineer returning to duty following such leave shall, if he or she requests, be assigned an assistant engineer or other qualified person who shall accompany him or her for such time as may be necessary to guarantee the public safety.

            4. As used in this section, the term "serious bodily injury" shall mean bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body.

            5. A railroad corporation or railroad company shall be exempt from the provisions of this section if such corporation or company has an arrangement or a collective bargaining agreement in place which provides for critical incident stress debriefing services for railroad operating crews that are equivalent to the services required by this section. Any question of or challenge to the equivalency of the critical incident stress debriefing program shall be directed to the director of the department of transportation.

            6. The highways and transportation commission shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this section. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, RSMo, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536, RSMo, and, if applicable, section 536.028, RSMo. This section and chapter 536, RSMo, are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo, to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2008, shall be invalid and void.