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Mo. Gov. vetoes workplace discrimination measure

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill Friday on workplace discrimination laws, saying it would scale back protections that took decades to gain.

The Democrat took the action outside St. Louis’ Old Courthouse, where the famous Dred Scott case was tried.

The bill requires workers who claim discrimination in wrongful firing lawsuits to prove that bias was a "motivating" factor, not just a "contributing" factor as the law now states.

Nixon said it would be a step backwards.

“Making it easier to discriminate against people with disabilities, or cancer, against women, older workers and minorities, against those of different faiths and ethnicities will not help us create jobs or become more competitive in a global economy,” Nixon said.

In a statement earlier this week the Missouri Chamber of Commerce said the current law is skewed unfairly towards employees and leads to frivolous lawsuits.

There’s been no word on whether lawmakers will attempt an override in the last two weeks of the session.


Updated 3:54 p.m. April 29 with story by Maria Altman, replacing original story by the Associated Press.

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.