House gives final passage to Missouri Human Rights law changes

The Missouri House of Representatives Thursday gave final approval to legislation that will bring the state’s human rights law into compliance with Title 7 of the U.S. Human Rights code.

House Bill 1019, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Austin (R-Springfield) also protects whistleblowers and companies that face frivolous whistle blowing cases.

The bill establishes that “a motivating factor” must be proven in work place discrimination cases. Through a long series of rulings in Missouri, the line has been drawn at “contributing factor”. The bill would require that a worker prove that discrimination was “a motivating factor” in the employment decision – the same standard used in most other states and in federal court.

The bill also provides protections for workers who spot violations in the workplace and report them to authorities either in the workplace or outside of work. But the bill also provide protections for businesses that face frivolous, or untrue charges from disgruntled employees.

Various versions of the bill have been vetoed by Governor Nixon for years. HB 1019 was given a final vote of 95-60. The bill now moves on to the State Senate.