Missouri House panel backs workplace discrimination law

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 4:09 p.m. CST; updated 7:44 p.m. CST, Monday, January 23, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House panel endorsed legislation changing the legal standard for proving workplace discrimination and limiting the amount of damages victims could recover in lawsuits.

The measure would require showing that discrimination was a "motivating factor" — not simply a contributing factor — in an employer's action against an employee. It would also tie the maximum punitive damages a victim could recover in a lawsuit to the size of the employer.

Monday's committee vote sends the bill to the full House. Senate leaders indicated their chamber could take up a similar measure as early this week.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed similar legislation last year, saying it would have rolled back decades of civil rights progress.


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