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New Missouri bill may change workplace discrimination laws

The Missouri House recently passed a bill that may change the way that workplace lawsuits are handled. If the legislation is approved by the state's senate and governor, individuals who file workplace discrimination lawsuits will have to prove that discrimination was a "motivating" rather than a "contributing" factor.

This is not the first time that this type of legislation has been proposed. Similar bills were vetoed by the governor in 2011 and 2012. Proponents of the bill state that its passage will reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in the state. They believe that the law will lead to greater job creation and attract businesses to move to the state, and they also claim that the law will bring the state in line with federal regulations regarding workplace discrimination.

On the other hand, opponents of the bill state that it will allow businesses to discriminate without fear of reprisal. They note that it may foster an environment in which businesses will be able to discriminate on the basis of race and religion with impunity if it becomes law, and they further claim the assertion that the current laws hurt Missouri's business prospects is "a false problem."

If someone believes he or she is being discriminated against at their workplace, it can be a very difficult situation. People may be afraid of bringing the issue up for fear of being further discriminated against. An experienced discrimination and harassment attorney may be able to help someone who believes they are being unfairly treated. While the Missouri law, if it passes, may make it more difficult for those who are discriminated against on the basis of race or religion to seek justice, an attorney could analyze his or her case to uncover additional grounds for discrimination that may assist him or her in obtaining a favorable legal ruling.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Missouri House passes workplace discrimination bill," Elizabeth Crisp, Feb. 28, 2013

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