The Missouri Senate has approved legislation changing the rules for lawsuits by people claiming they were fired because of discrimination.
Missouri law now requires such workers to prove that discrimination was a "contributing" factor in a firing.
The Senate bill would require a showing that discrimination was a "motivating" factor. It would also limit the amount of damages that could be awarded in such cases.
Senators approved the bill 25-9 on Thursday. It now goes to the House.
Proponents say the legislation would bring state law in line with federal policies, possibly making Missouri more appealing to employers. But some critics say the measure is a step backward and could make employers less likely to prevent workplace discrimination.