The Missouri Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability (MO Rev. Stat. Sec. 213.055 et seq.). The Law applies to public and private employers, including employment agencies and labor unions, with six or more employees within the state. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and AIDS-related complex are all protected disabilities under the Human Rights Law (MO Rev. Stat. Sec. 191.665 et seq.).
Association provision. The Law also prohibits discrimination based on a person's association with an individual with a disability. For example, an employee cannot be fired because he or she volunteers at an AIDS clinic.
Like the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state law prohibits employers from basing a decision regarding recruitment, hiring, discharge, promotion, advancement, or the other terms and conditions of employment on the knowledge or perception that a person who is otherwise qualified to perform the job has a disability. The law mandates that employers offer reasonable accommodations to allow a person with a disability to work, as long as offering the necessary accommodation does not present an undue hardship to the employer.
ADA amendments. Although the ADA has similar provisions to the state law, amendments recently changed the way courts are likely to interpret the definition of "disability."
The courts in Missouri look to federal law for guidance in the interpretation of the state human rights law. Therefore, the changes in the ADA are likely to affect decisions made by state courts in disability discrimination cases.
The ADA covers employers ...