Missouri Senate passes workplace discrimination measure

Mar 8, 2012

The Missouri Senate has given final approval to legislation changing the rules for lawsuits over workplace discrimination.

Senators backed the bill in 23-8 vote along party lines Thursday. The measure goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.

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 say those changes would align Missouri laws with federal protection and would make the state business-friendly.

But Democrats spoke against the bill for several hours earlier in the week, saying it will undo decades of civil rights progress. The Democrats say they think Nixon will veto it again.