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Mo. Senate sends workplace discrimination measure to Gov. Nixon

Governor office door.JPG
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Ceremonial doors of the Mo. Governor's office inside the State Capitol.

The Missouri Senate has sent the House version of the workplace discrimination bill to Governor Jay Nixon.

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.

“Hopefully, once that happens, he’ll have his ceremonial veto done with and we can actually sit down and have a real discussion about what he’ll take, what he’ll sign," Lager said, "And we can actually come back after spring break and move a bill that hopefully he will actually sign and actually become law.”

The Senate version of the bill, which Lager sponsored, is awaiting action in the Missouri House.

The measure would require someone suing for wrongful termination or a similar workplace issue to prove that discrimination was the "motivating" factor, not just a "contributing" factor. It would also limit the punitive damages awarded in such cases. 

Backers say it would bring Missouri in line with the federal standard, while opponents say Missouri’s standard should remain higher than Washington’s.

Lager is also a candidate for Lt. Governor.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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