Bill repealing small business discrimination penalties advances

Very small companies that are guilty of discriminating against their employees would face lighter penalties, under a Republican bill that advanced in the state Senate yesterday repealing a 2013 anti-discrimination law. It passed the Business, Labor and Technology committee on a bipartisan 6-3 vote.

The 2013 law allows employees of very small companies to collect legal fees and punitive damages if they successfully prove their employer discriminated against them. Attorney Clayton Wire testified that without the law, employees would have to take any complaints against small businesses to the Civil Rights Division, which can only impose very limited penalties.

Woods says past remedies for discrimination were sufficient, and that the 2013 law "was designed to be an increasing economic incentive to sue your boss."