(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.