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Missouri Legislature passes tougher discrimination rules

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Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers have voted to make it tougher to prove workplace discrimination in court.

The legislation passed by the House 98-30 on Monday night raises the standard for proving discrimination. It will soon move to the governor’s desk where it seems likely to get a signature.

Current law states that an employee must prove their protected class such as race, gender, age or ability contributed to discrimination in the workplace or housing. The new standards would require employees to prove their protected class was “the motivating factor” for their firing or discipline.

The Senate passed the measure in March.

Critics slammed the proposal as eliminating worker protections. Supporters say the bill will cut down on “frivolous lawsuits” that hurt businesses.