Legislation awaiting action by Gov. Jay Nixon seeks to comply with federal mandates for Missouri's unemployment benefits system.
The measure also could make it more difficult for workers to receive jobless benefits if they are let go after an unapproved absence or if they knowingly violate a company rule.
The legislation would broaden the definition of what constitutes "misconduct." Jobless benefits can be denied to workers who lose their position because of misbehavior.
The unemployment legislation also includes changes aimed at complying with requirements from the federal government. Failing to comply could cost employers more than $800 million in federal tax credits while state government could lose a couple hundred million dollars for programs.
Lawmakers gave the legislation final approval before adjourning last week.