Missouri House passes changes to discrimination suits

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill that raises the standard for workplace discrimination lawsuits.

House members on Monday voted 98-30 in favor of the bill. It would require people suing for workplace discrimination to prove that a protected class such as race, gender, age or ability was “the motivating factor” for disciplining an employee instead of just a “contributing factor.”

The proposal will soon move to the governor’s desk where it is likely to get a signature.

The bill’s backers say that it will make the state more business-friendly and discourage “frivolous lawsuits.”

Opponents such as the NAACP argue that the tougher standards would roll back worker protections and make it nearly impossible to bring a successful discrimination case.