Employment Law

Employment Law: Employee rights under the law

Missouri and federal law prohibit employers from discriminating against their employee because of an individual’s race, sex, age, national origin or disability.

Discrimination practices are barred not only in an employer’s hiring and firing practices, but also within the context of “office politics” concerning issues involving salary, raises, promotions, job assignments and employee discipline.

Harassment is a form of discrimination that includes not only sexual harassment, but also conduct or practice that “picks” on an individual based on one’s race, creed or religion.

Disability discrimination:

An employer may not discriminate against an employee with an actual or perceived physical disability if that person can perform the job with a reasonable accommodation.

Family medical leave act (employers with 50 or more employees):

An employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave of absence due to his or her own serious medical condition; to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious medical condition; or for the birth or adoption of a child.  Documentation may have to be provided to the employer to preserve one’s rights.

Retaliation/whistle blowing:

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees—disciplining, firing, or unfavorable employment decisions—who lodge complaints about an employer, supervisor or co-workers acts that violate civil rights law; for their participation in legal actions against their employers; reporting illegal employer conduct; or refusing to personally perform illegal acts.

Time limits:

There are strict time limits for filing discrimination cases, which generally must be first be filed with the eeoc and/or the missouri commission on human rights, before a right to sue accrues in state or federal court.  Therefore, immediate consultation with an attorney experienced in this area of the law is of paramount importance.


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