DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Senate approved an expansion of legal remedies for employee discrimination cases at small businesses.

The proposal passed without the support of Republicans, who argue the bill will harm businesses and lead to more lawsuits. Democrats countered that the bill is a matter of civil rights and that workers should be entitled to legal relief regardless of the size of the company they work for.

The bill passed Friday and heads to the governor’s desk.

Currently, employees at companies with fewer than 15 workers can sue for discrimination, but the law limits what a court can award them. For example, employees at smaller companies who prove they were discriminated against can’t get compensatory or punitive damages, and they can’t recover reasonable attorneys’ fees

The bill would change that.

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