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1 day 15 hours 49 minutes ago April 26, 2017 Apr 26, 2017 Wednesday, April 26 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:28:24 PM CDT in News
By: Taylor Stevens, KOMU Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in the state.

If it were to pass, Senate Bill 43 would require an employee to prove sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or other descriptors was a motivating factor for actions against them. In other words, Missourians would have to prove intent for the claim to stand in court. Currently, employees have to prove a protected status is a contributing factor, or one of multiple factors, for the actions against them.

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus has taken a stance against the measure. Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, said the bill would make it difficult to hold employers accountable for creating "hostile work environments." Missouri's NAACP President Nimrod Chapel has expressed concerns the bill would be the start of the return of Jim-Crow-type laws.

Rep. Bill Lant, R-Pineville, of the House Special Litigation Committee, said the legislation wouldn't make it easier on discriminatory employers, but would "make it harder for those who wish to mess with the system."

Please tell us your thoughts on the issue by taking this brief survey. It is completely anonymous, but you may choose to leave contact information if you'd like to share your story with one of our reporters.

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