Workplace Discrimination Bill Passes Mo. House

Feb 28, 2013

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bring the state’s workplace discrimination standard in line with the federal one.

Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in wrongful actions taken against employees, instead of a contributing factor as it is now under Missouri law.  

It was sponsored by Republican Kevin Elmer of Christian County.

“We’re bringing it into accordance by alleviating employers from being trapped in litigation for months and months and years on end,” Elmer said. “We still will punish the wrongdoer.”

Democratic House Member Brandon Ellington of Kansas City says Missouri’s standard for discrimination should not be lowered.

“We know the potential for discrimination and to be able to prove that it was a motivational factor is almost impossible. Discrimination can happen to anybody in this body. It may not be racial, but it definitely could be age discrimination, it may not be age, but it could definitely be sexual discrimination,” Ellington said.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a similar bill last year.  This year’s House version now goes to the Missouri Senate.