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AIM opposes new class of lawsuits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered against Missouri empl

Senator Jolie Justus (D-10), chairperson of the Senate Progress and Development Committee, presented SB 962 to her committee today that would establish a new protected class of employees: those that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.

Associated Industries of Missouri opposed the establishment of any new protected class of employees.  This bill creates a new line of potential lawsuits against employers for a new class of discrimination cases.

“While we encourage policies that discourage discrimination, we do not believe creating a new line of lawsuits against employers is the correct way to address this issue, especially with the low standard of proof that currently exists under the Missouri Human Rights Act (the “contributing factor” standard),” AIM president Ray McCarty told the Committee. “We endorse the “motivating factor” standard used in the federal human rights act, but even if that standard were added to the bill, we do not endorse adding any new protected class of persons to the statutes.”

The only business testifying in support of the bill was Monsanto.  Lobbyists on behalf of the City of Kansas City, Jackson County and St. Louis County testified in support and pointed out that local ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on these criteria had been in place for many years.

Click below for a video of Sen. Justus presenting her bill to the Committee.

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