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Missouri bill would add discrimination prohibitions

More Fortune 500 corporations have joined the hundreds of companies based in Missouri in support of the Missouri Non-discrimination Act, known as MONA.

According to a LGBT advocacy organization for Missouri, Sprint -- which is based in Kansas and has a workforce comprised of many Kansas City, Missouri, residents -- has joined the ranks of Fortune 500 companies like Express Scripts and Monsanto in urging legislators to pass the bill.

Other forward-thinking companies supporting MONA's passage include the 14th company on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014, Burns & McDonnell, and Fortune 500 companies Pfizer, ConAgra Foods and J.P. Morgan Chase.

MONA's passage would include prohibitions against discrimination based upon gender identity and sexual orientation added to the Missouri Human Rights law. The statute currently disallows public accommodation, housing and employment discrimination for individuals based on factors such as family status, sex and race.

If MONA passes and is signed into law, the definition of discrimination will be expanded. Over 160,000 of Missourians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered would no longer have to submit to unfair treatment based on their "presumed or assumed" characteristics.

The workplace protection legislation was introduced in both legislative houses of Missouri's General Assembly in February of this year.

Expansion of workers' rights to include the new discriminatory prohibitions is a positive development for Missouri employees. All workers should be able to fulfill their job duties without harassment or being subject to a hostile working environment.

Should you face workplace discrimination on your job, you may need to consult with an employment law attorney who can advise you of the steps to take to protect yourself and your position.

Source: LGBTQ Nation, "Fortune 500 companies voice support for Mo. non-discrimination bill" Colin Murphy, Apr. 28, 2014

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