SB221

Establishes damage caps for Human Rights Act cases and workers' compensation discrimination cases

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Bill Text from Feb. 8, 2011 - Introduced

FIRST REGULAR SESSION

SENATE BILL NO. 221

213.111. 1. If, after one hundred eighty days from the filing of a complaint alleging an unlawful discriminatory practice pursuant to section 213.055, 213.065 or 213.070 to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of section 213.055 or 213.065, or subdivision (3) of section 213.070 as it relates to employment and public accommodations, the commission has not completed its administrative processing and the person aggrieved so requests in writing, the commission shall issue to the person claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right to bring a civil action within ninety days of such notice against the respondent named in the complaint. If, after the filing of a complaint pursuant to sections 213.040, 213.045, 213.050 and 213.070, to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of sections 213.040, 213.045 and 213.050, or subdivision (3) of section 213.070 as it relates to housing, and the person aggrieved so requests in writing, the commission shall issue to the person claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right to bring a civil action within ninety days of such notice against the respondent named in the complaint. Such an action may be brought in any circuit court in any county in which the unlawful discriminatory practice is alleged to have occurred, either before a circuit or associate circuit judge. Upon issuance of this notice, the

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY SENATOR CUNNINGHAM .

Read 1st tim e February 7, 2011, and ordered printed.

0789S.01I

TERRY L. SPIELER, Secretary.

AN ACT

To repeal sections 213.111 and 287.780, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof two new

sections relating to damages in discrimination cases.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Sections 213.111 and 287.780, RSMo, are repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 213.111 and 287.780, to read as follows:

SB 221

  1. The court may grant as relief, as it deems appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order, and may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages, and may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party, other than a state agency or commission or a local commission; except that, a prevailing respondent may be awarded court costs and reasonable attorney fees only upon a showing that the case is without foundation.

commission shall terminate all proceedings relating to the complaint. No person may file or reinstate a complaint with the commission after the issuance of a notice under this section relating to the same practice or act. Any action brought in court under this section shall be filed within ninety days from the date of the commission's notification letter to the individual but no later than two years after the alleged cause occurred or its reasonable discovery by the alleged injured party. 3. The sum of the amount of actual damages, including damages for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses, and punitive damages awarded under this section shall not exceed for each complaining party: (b) In the case of a respondent who has more than one hundred and fewer than two hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, one hundred thousand dollars. (c) In the case of a respondent who has more than two hundred and fewer than five hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, two hundred thousand dollars. (d) In the case of a respondent who has more than five hundred employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, three hundred thousand dollars. 4. Subsection 3 of this section shall not apply to actions filed for

(1) Actual back pay and interest on back pay; and (2)

(a) In the case of a respondent who has more than five and fewer than one hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, fifty thousand dollars.

SB 221 violations of sections 213.040, 213.045, 213.050, and 213.070 to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of sections 213.040, 213.045, and 213.050, or subsection 3 of shall not be awarded against the state of Missouri or any of its political subdivisions.

section 213.070 as it relates to housing.

287.780. 1. No employer or agent shall discharge or in any way discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his rights under this chapter. Any employee who has been discharged or discriminated against shall have a civil action for damages against his employer. 2. In an action brought under subsection 1 of this section by an employee against an employer or former employer, the sum of the amount of compensatory damages awarded and the amount of punitive damages awarded shall not exceed, for each plaintiff, the following: (1) In the case of a defendant who has fewer than one hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, fifty thousand dollars; (2) In the case of a defendant who has more than one hundred and fewer than two hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, one hundred thousand dollars; (3) In the case of a defendant who has more than two hundred and fewer than five hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, two hundred thousand dollars; (4) In the case of a defendant who has more than five hundred employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, three hundred thousand dollars. 3. Compensatory damages within the meaning of this section

shall not include back pay and interest on back pay.

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shall not be awarded against the state of Missouri or any of its political subdivisions. 5. Notwithstanding subsection 3 of this section, punitive damages