Debate Arises Over Employment Discrimination Bills

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri human rights groups say legislation that changes the state’s employment discrimination law will hurt workers, but business groups say it will have a positive effect.

The House passed a bill to change the laws last month. The Senate endorsed similar legislation.

Under the bills, plaintiffs would have to prove that discrimination was a “motivating factor” rather than a “contributing” factor in their firing. The legislation would also limit the amount of damages that plaintiffs could win.

Anti-discrimination advocates say limiting the damage amounts puts a “price” on discrimination. They say businesses could end up setting aside money each year to fire people for discriminatory reasons.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce says both changes would give businesses more certainty and bring jobs to the state.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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