Employment Lawyer in Kansas City
American labor is the backbone of our country. Regardless of job titles, all employees dedicate a significant chunk of their life to working and keeping the economy running. Your contribution is important and shouldn’t be threatened by workplace misconduct. If you believe you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or your workplace rights have otherwise been violated, the Barnes Law Firm wants to help you. We will fight to get you the respect and compensation you deserve without harming your professional reputation and career prospects.
Employment Laws in Missouri
If you work in Missouri, both federal and state laws protect your rights in the workplace. Federal law provides base-level labor rights, while state law offers additional protections.
Federal Labor Laws
All 50 states are subject to Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits employers from making job decisions based on race, color, national origin, religion, and sex (including pregnancy). Additional federal laws protect employees from discrimination based on age and disability. Employers may not discriminate in job listings, hiring decisions, promotions, benefits, compensation, layoffs, and terminations.
Federal law also protects labor from workplace harassment, which is any offensive or threatening behavior directed at an employee. Sexual harassment is the most common. However, workplace harassment also includes offensive behaviors, based on one or more of the protected traits (race, age, sex, etc.), which results in a hostile work environment or an adverse work decision like being fired or demoted.
In Missouri, employers with at least six employees are subject to these laws which are enforced by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.
Workplace Safety and Injuries
In Missouri, employers are required by law to provide a safe workplace free of known hazards. This duty includes maintaining a safe working environment, as well as providing all training and safety equipment necessary for their industry. If you believe your employer has committed workplace safety violations, you have a right to request an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Additional State Protections
Missouri’s employment law offers whistleblower protections for public workers who report illegal or unethical actions of their employers. Employers cannot punish or prevent employees from discussing the agency’s illegal activities with law enforcement or any state official charged with investigating misconduct, nor can they retaliate against whistleblowers after the fact. Employers are also prohibited from requiring their staff to give management notice before reporting violations to the proper authorities. If an employee can prove that their employer has violated the whistleblower protection act, they may be entitled to compensation and attorney fees.
Missouri is an at-will employment state, which means that employers can typically let employers go for any reason or no reason at all. However, exceptions to this employment doctrine include terminations that violate public policy. A wrongful termination claim could arise when an employee is fired as retaliation for refusing to engage in illegal activity, reporting the agency’s misconduct, or exercising their worker’s compensation rights.
The Missouri Human Rights Act
One of the laws that distinguishes employee discrimination suits in Missouri from other states is the Missouri Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, and age in employment. There have, however, been recent modifications in the Missouri Human Rights Act where the plaintiff must now demonstrate that one of the qualifying traits was a motivating factor in the discrimination or harassment of the employee. An experienced labor attorney who’s familiar with this type of litigation, can assist you in proving your case under the new, tougher standard.
The Barnes Law Firm Helps Clients in Kansas City
If you believe that an employer has violated your rights in the workplace, it is crucial that you seek help from an experienced attorney. At the Barnes Law Firm, we strongly believe that all employees deserve a fair workplace free from unlawful discrimination, retaliation, and wrongdoing. Our trusted attorneys handle all cases of employment law violations and prepared to fight your case to the very end. The law doesn’t tolerate workplace misconduct and neither should you. Call today to schedule a free consultation and get started on the better side of justice.