Missouri House approves bill to change workplace discrimination rules

Thursday, February 9, 2012 | 12:51 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House of Representatives has approved a measure that would change the rules for workplace discrimination cases.

The House's 89-68 vote Thursday came after several lawmakers spoke against the legislation, saying it would give employers less incentive to prevent discrimination.

The bill would require discrimination to be a "motivating factor"— instead of a "contributing factor" — in wrongful-termination cases or in other discriminatory actions. It also would limit the amount of punitive damages discrimination victims can recover.

Republican supporters of the measure say the changes would align Missouri laws with federal protections.

The Senate approved its own version of the legislation earlier 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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