Mo. Democrats delay vote on workplace discrimination legislation

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 7:20 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Democrats in the Missouri Senate are again delaying a vote on legislation changing the rules for lawsuits over workplace discrimination.

The bill would require someone suing for wrongful termination or a similar workplace issue to prove that discrimination was the "motivating" factor, not just a "contributing" factor. It would also limit the punitive damages awarded in such cases.

Republican supporters said the changes would align Missouri laws with federal protections.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, said Wednesday she intended to speak against the bill for several hours. Last month, she filibustered a similar bill for about 10 hours, saying it would undo decades of civil rights progress.

Senate passage would send the bill to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.

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