Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:08 pm
Testimony was heard today on legislation that would redefine what constitutes workplace discrimination in Missouri.
If passed, workplace discrimination would have to be a motivating factor, not just a contributing one, in any wrongful action taken against a worker by an employer, which is the current federal standard. Attorney Rich AuBuchon spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of his former employer, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. He told the House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety that the state’s current definition of discrimination is hurting Missouri’s economy.
Senate Democrats have ended their filibuster of a workplace discrimination bill, after an agreement was reached with the bill’s sponsor. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try blocking the bill again.
Democrat Maria Chappelle-Nadal agreed to end the filibuster after the bill’s sponsor, GOP Senator Brad Lager, allowed her to add an amendment – that amendment would guarantee the right to a jury trial in all workplace discrimination cases. She says, though, that the bill’s definition of what constitutes workplace discrimination is still flawed.
The Legislative Black Caucus is vowing to fight attempts in both the Missouri House and Senate to pass Republican-sponsored workplace discrimination bills. As St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin tells us, both Senate and House bills would redefine discrimination as a motivating factor in actions taken against an employee:
A group of Democratic State Senators is blocking a bill that would redefine Missouri’s workplace discrimination standards. They believe the bill will undo nearly a half-century of civil rights progress.