Workplace discrimination bill being blocked in Mo. Senate | St. Louis Public Radio

Workplace discrimination bill being blocked in Mo. Senate

Jan 25, 2012

A group of Democratic State Senators is blocking a bill that would redefine Missouri’s workplace discrimination standards.

Among those taking part in the filibuster are Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City).  They talked about several other topics besides the discrimination bill on the Senate floor Wednesday, including America’s immigration policies.

“Well you know what I think about immigration, what we’re doing with immigration?  I think it’s Jim Crow with a sombrero," Wright-Jones said.

Chappelle-Nadal talked about, among other things, smoking cigars, her pet cat Hoppy, and U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond's 83-day filibuster more than 60 years ago.  She said she would not allow the bill to pass in its current form.

In Missouri, an employee has grounds to sue his or her employer if discrimination is found to be a contributing factor in any action taken against that employee.  The bill would require that discrimination be a motivating factor instead.  It’s sponsored by State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah).

“The courts have made Missouri the worst place in the nation to be sued if you’re an employer," Lager saidl  "No employer is gonna move to a state or substantially grow in a state where their risk of being sued is greater than anywhere else in the nation.”

Lager is also running for Lt. Governor.  He says he was not aware that his bill was being blocked.