The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religion (MO Rev. Stat. Sec. 213.055). The Act covers all state employers and private employers with six or more employees. Under the MHRA, it is unlawful to:
• Refuse to hire, terminate, or discriminate in the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual's religion.
• Limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants in any way that would deprive them of employment opportunities or adversely affect their employment status.
• Print or circulate any statement or advertisement for employment expressing any limitation, specification, or discrimination because of religion, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). Refer to Advertising in this section for details.
• Make any inquiry in connection with a prospective employee that expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination because of religion, unless based on a BFOQ.
• Aid, incite, compel, or coerce a person to commit acts prohibited by the MHRA.
• Retaliate or discriminate in any way against a person because he or she has opposed an unlawful practice, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted under the MHRA.
• Discriminate in any way against any person because of his or her association with a person protected by the MHRA.
The courts in Missouri have ruled that the discrimination protections under the MHRA are not identical to those in the federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and can offer greater protection (Daugherty v. City of Md. Heights, 231 S.W.3d 814 (MO 2007)).