Lawmakers Weigh Employee Discrimination Claims

DENVER (AP) — A push by Democrats to increase legal remedies for employee discrimination at small businesses is drawing strong opposition from Republicans who argue it will be damaging to employers.

Democrats say the bill seeks to extend legal relief to employees who are not covered now. Currently, employees at companies with fewer than 15 workers can sue for discrimination, but cannot receive punitive damages or attorney fees if they win.

The bill was being debated by the House Wednesday.

Republicans argue the bill will lead to more lawsuits, and they derisively called it the “Trial Lawyers’ Employment Act of 2013.”

Employees at companies with five to 14 workers would be limited to receiving up to $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The cap at businesses with four or less employees would be $10,000.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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