Under the bill, gun owners who carry their firearms with them in a lawful manner (i.e. possess a concealed-carry permit) cannot be fired, denied benefits, or otherwise discriminated against. It was sponsored by State Rep. Wanda Brown (R, Cole Camp).
Senate Democrats spent five hours Wednesday blocking the bill before sitting down. Today, there was no debate, only a 23 to 8 straight party-line vote. Brad Lager (R, Savannah) handled the bill in the Senate. He says he fully expects the governor, a Democrat, to veto the bill.
The bill would change the definition by making discrimination a motivating factor in any action taken by an employer against an employee, instead of a contributing factor as established by court rulings in recent years. House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) argued that the current standard is killing small businesses in Missouri.
The vote was a mere formality following last week’s battle to kill the measure. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City and several other Senate Democrats had conducted a filibuster, but gave in after language guaranteeing jury trials in discrimination lawsuits was added to the bill. But she still spoke out against it, in particular, the Missouri Chamber’s claim that the bill would help curb frivolous lawsuits.
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would redefine workplace discrimination, after an agreement was reached between the bill’s sponsor and a group of Democrats that had been blocking it.
The agreement took the form of an amendment to the bill, which would guarantee the right to a jury trial in any workplace discrimination case. State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah), the bill’s sponsor, agreed to support the amendment.
(2-2-2012, 1:47 a.m.: Filibuster is over...Chappelle-Nadal agreed to stop blocking SB 592 in exchange for allowing her to add an amendment guaranteeing right of trial by jury in discrimination cases...she still voted "no" when bill received first-round approval...new story with full details will be posted.)
(10:56 p.m.: Filibuster approaching 12 hours...Senators Chappelle-Nadal, Wright-Jones and Curls have been meeting behind closed doors, possibly considering an alternate version of the bill while other Democrats and one Republican, Kevin Engler, fill in...follow @MarshallGReport on Twitter for immediate updates.)
A filibuster launched last week by Senate Democrats to block a vote on a workplace discrimination bill has resumed today. It would require that discrimination be a motivating factor, not a contributing factor, in any action taken by an employer against an employee.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) restarted the filibuster and has so far talked about numerous topics, including taking salt from the floor of the Dead Sea during a trip to the Middle East.
The Legislative Black Caucus is vowing to fight attempts in both the Missouri House and Senate to pass Republican-sponsored workplace discrimination bills.
Currently, an employee can sue his or her employer if discrimination is found to be a contributing factor in any action taken against that worker. Both House and Senate versions of the bill would require that discrimination be a motivating factor instead. Democrat Steve Webb of North County chairs the Black Caucus.
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.
Legislation that would change Missouri’s definition on workplace discrimination is getting attention this week on both sides of the Missouri General Assembly.
On Monday, the House version of the bill was approved by that chamber’s Workforce Development Committee. Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in any action taken against an employee, not a contributing factor as it is now. Democrat Sylvester Taylor of North County voted against the bill in committee.
Missouri lawmakers are again trying to change the rules for workplace discrimination cases after similar legislation was vetoed last year.
A Senate committee endorsed legislation Thursday that supporters say would align Missouri laws with federal protections. The measure would require discrimination to be a "motivating factor" - instead of the current lesser standard of a contributing factor - in wrongful termination cases. That bill now goes to the full Senate.