Governor Signs Amendments to Missouri Human Rights Act
By: Anne Baggott
As expected, Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation on Friday, June 30, 2017, that significantly amends the Missouri Human Rights Act. As previously explained here, the amendments create damages caps on future actual damages, emotional distress, and punitive damages based on the employer’s number of employees; requires a higher level of proof for the employee to establish unlawful discrimination or retaliation; eliminates individual liability for supervisors and co-workers; and requires the jury hear a “business judgment rule” instruction. The amendments also abrogate several employee-friendly cases involving the timeliness of filing a charge of discrimination and the use of the federally based burden-shifting framework in summary judgment motions.
Employment cases in Missouri will be more similar to litigation based on federal employment statutes such as Title VII. The amendments go into effect on August 28, 2017.