Many situations may arise at a workplace that threaten a person’s right to pursue a career free from harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. At the same time, companies may try to take advantage of employees through restrictive contracts or unfavorable severance agreements. If your boss or a potential employer has threatened your rights in the workplace or your ability to seek work, you may have the right to pursue legal remedies with help of a St. Louis employment lawyer.LEARN MORE
It is an unfortunate fact that employment discrimination and harassment remain a common problem in many workplaces despite the passage and enforcement of the Missouri Human Rights Act. Specifically, Missouri Revised Statute §213.055 prohibits any business with six or more employees from discriminating against an employee or candidate for employment on the basis of any of the following protected factors:
Harassment is characterized by unwanted interactions, either verbal or physical, that place a worker in an uncomfortable situation based on a protected factor and often involve adverse employment actions. Common examples of this kind of behavior in the workplace include crude jokes and sexual harassment. Discrimination, on the other hand, involves unlawful employment actions taken against a worker on the basis of a protected factor.
Because harassment falls under the umbrella of discrimination, an employer who allows its workers to make crude remarks about any of these protected factors violates the law in the same way as one who wrongfully terminates an employee on the basis of a protected factor. Similarly, it is also against the law for an employer to retaliate against a worker who attempts to exercise their employment rights or assist in a government investigation.
In these situations, workers have several options to hold their employer accountable. Filing a complaint with the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations will trigger an investigation by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) and grant the filing employee the right to sue their boss in court. A St. Louis employment attorney could help individuals pursue available legal remedies after experiencing discrimination, harassment, or unlawful retaliation in the workplace.
Another key aspect of federal and state labor law is that all employees must receive fair pay for the hours they work. Specifically, the law stipulates that workers must receive at least the federal minimum wage and state minimum wage for every hour worked. Additionally, certain employees will qualify for overtime pay based on several factors regarding their place of employment. An experienced employment law attorney in St. Louis could help workers who suspect that they are being underpaid according to federal labor laws obtain their unpaid wages.
Our team could also help investigate whether a severance agreement offered by an employer at the end of a worker’s employment is fair and law-abiding. These contracts typically offer money in exchange for a non-compete clause or a non-disclosure agreement. We could take the lead in negotiating these contacts for better terms or defend a person’s position in court if disputes arise.
Every employee in St. Louis and throughout the state enjoys certain protections under state and federal labor laws. Companies that violate these laws are subject to government investigations as well as private lawsuits that demand a remedy. Legal remedies for aggrieved employees include back pay, the institution of benefits, or reinstatement in a previous position.
A St. Louis employment lawyer at our firm could help workers investigate their employers’ actions and take the lead in their fight for justice. Contact our firm today to learn more about protecting your rights as a worker in St. Louis.