For over a decade, Missouri federal courts have debated the interpretation of the term "employer" provided in the Missouri Human Rights Act ("MHRA"), offering two distinct interpretations. Some have held that the MHRA's definition of "employer" allows for individual liability for managers and supervisors along with the employing entity. However, recent Missouri federal opinions have reluctantly followed Eighth Circuit precedent in holding that the MHRA does not impose individual liability. Amid the conflicting federal judicial decisions, one thing has remained constant: every Missouri federal court has tried to predict how the Missouri Supreme Court would decide the issue. As a result of binding precedent on recent Missouri federal court decisions, Missouri federal courts have ruled against the more logical and just interpretation of "employer" within the MHRA. Consequently, the underlying purpose of the MHRA has been undermined by failing to provide victims of employment discrimination with sufficient compensation and personal vindication for their injuries. However, a recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District rejecting the established federal law may end the inconsistency within the Missouri federal courts and may finally lead to justice for victims of employment discrimination. Missouri state and federal courts will no longer be forced under the doctrine of stare decisis to allow individual wrongdoers a "free pass" to discriminate, thus depriving victims of employment discrimination of their right to just compensation and personal redress during a time in which employee discrimination is of widespread concern throughout Missouri and nationwide.

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