House panel talks change to worker lawsuits

Feb 11, 2013

A Missouri House committee is considering legislation making it harder for employees to win lawsuits over workplace discrimination.

The bill heard Monday would require workers who file suit over an employer's actions to prove that discrimination was a "motivating factor." Missouri now requires employees to prove only that discrimination was a "contributing" factor.

Supporters say the higher standard would cut down on expensive and lengthy trials by allowing judges to dismiss some lawsuits. Opponents say the bill would make it easier for employers to discriminate and harder for an employee to collect damages.

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed similar legislation each of the last two years.

The committee did not vote on the bill Monday. It is sponsored by Republican Rep. Kevin Elmer, of Nixa.