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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2017 


In focus on our Friday Rundown; the U.S. Senate takes a first step towards passing major tax cuts; holiday help wanted as retail and restaurant job opportunities abound; plus, we report on a website that helps new moms take 12 from work.

Daily Newscasts

MO to Make It Harder for Workers to Sue for Discrimination

A report from the Missouri attorney general showed in 2016, black drivers were 75 percent more likely to be stopped than white drivers, while in 2015 the figure was 69 percent. (John Bergman/Pixabay)
A report from the Missouri attorney general showed in 2016, black drivers were 75 percent more likely to be stopped than white drivers, while in 2015 the figure was 69 percent. (John Bergman/Pixabay)
August 4, 2017

ST. LOUIS – The State of Missouri was a topic at the latest national convention of the NAACP, for being in the crosshairs of a debate over race and morality.

This month, a new Missouri law goes into effect that increases the threshold for filing discrimination cases against small businesses and industries. Previously, discrimination only had to be a "contributing" factor under the Missouri Human Rights Act to be unlawful. Now, it has to be the "motivating" factor for a lawsuit to proceed against an employer.

The NAACP Missouri Chapter President Rod Chapel says this isn't about political ideology.

"It's not a political debate on whether or not people can have human rights," he says. "That's not something that can be up for debate. What we have is a departure from morality - now that can have political consequences."

The law also limits damages awarded for employment discrimination to no more than back pay and interest on back pay. Supporters of the law say it brings Missouri anti-discrimination practices into line with other states. Chapel contends people who believe that have been sold a bill of goods.

Chapel points out that what's outlined in Senate Bill 43 isn't the law of the land in the United States, nor does he think it's in line with the nation's moral code. He believes the issue comes down to some key questions:

"Do Missouri citizens have the ability to get accurate information from people who they've entrusted with their leadership?" he asks. "And are those leaders not only telling them the truth but actually reviewing the facts themselves?"

The Missouri NAACP chapter issued a travel advisory in the state in June, when Senate Bill 43 was first signed by Gov. Eric Greitens.

The advisory urges African-American travelers to exercise extreme caution after a state attorney general's report said black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO