Legislation making it more difficult to prove discrimination cases against former employers is on its way to Gov. Eric Greitens.
On a 98-30 vote, the Missouri House gave final approval Monday night to a bill requiring workers who claim discrimination in wrongful termination lawsuits to prove that bias was the explicit reason they were fired. The current standard is much lower, requiring them to prove only that bias contributed to their dismissal.
But numerous Democratic lawmakers refused to vote on the bill at all because the Senate sponsor of the legislation owns a company that’s currently being sued for discrimination. They argued that even voting in opposition to the bill would make them complicit in a major conflict of interest.
The bill also makes changes to the state’s whistleblower laws, including removing protections for state employees. It caps punitive damages a victim can be awarded in discrimination or harassment lawsuits and mandates those alleging discrimination can only sue employers and not individual employees or supervisors who may have engaged in the discriminatory or harassing behavior.
Greitens, a Republican, is expected to sign the bill.