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Missouri Employment Discrimination Lawyers

Employee discrimination or workplace discrimination happens in many ways, not just in the form of wrongful firing, unfair wages, and harassment. If you believe that your rights have been violated or that you have been unjustly treated at work, it is best to consult a lawyer. You may have a claim for employment discrimination, for which you can obtain justice and compensation.

What Counts As Employment Discrimination?

Under federal and state laws, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on a certain aspect of your identity. In our state, the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) is the law that prohibits worker discrimination based on:

  • Age (40 to 70)
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Color
  • Disability, whether physical or mental
  • Genetic information
  • National origin
  • Off-duty tobacco use
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex

Unfairness in the workplace can manifest in different ways, some more subtle than others. Here are some common forms of employment discrimination:

  • Unfair hiring practices
  • Wrongful termination/firing/layoff
  • Unreasonable salary
  • Workplace harassment, including sexual harassment and hostile work environment
  • Prejudiced job assignment or transfer
  • Biased denial of promotion
  • Unwarranted denial of benefits such as leave and retirement plans
  • Breach of contract
  • Retaliating against a worker who filed a complaint or participated in a legal process against discrimination
  • Retaliating against a whistleblower that exposed violations by the employer.

What You May Receive In An Employee Discrimination Claim

Many workers who have experienced discrimination are reluctant to take action, fearing that it might put their job on the line. However, the law provides remedies for those who successfully fight for their rights. In an effective discrimination claim, the damages you may receive include:

  • Back-pay – payment for wages that were unlawfully withheld or reduced in the past
  • Reinstatement – placing you back in the position from which you were wrongfully fired
  • Front-pay – payment for the earnings you missed between the court’s decision and your reinstatement into your job
  • Compensatory damages – payment for your other related losses such as pain, suffering, and humiliation
  • Punitive damages – payment intended not to compensate for your losses but to ‘punish’ the defendant
  • Injunctive relief – a court order prohibiting the defendant to continue their discriminatory behavior
  • Attorneys’ fees.

How To File A Discrimination Complaint In Missouri

A discrimination complaint triggers what is called a human rights investigation. Perhaps you wish to have a human rights investigation into your case, or you are already considering a lawsuit. Either way, filing a discrimination complaint is the first step you must take. Missouri law gives you only 180 days from the discrimination incident to file this complaint, so don’t wait too long to take this step.

To file your complaint, you’ll need to take the Discrimination Complaint Assessment by the Missouri Human Rights Commission (MCHR). After this assessment is completed, the commission will instruct you on how to proceed; they will also notify you if you have the right to sue.

A valid complaint will prompt the MCHR to conduct an investigation. If they find that discrimination may indeed have occurred, they will proceed to the hearing process. At the end of this process will be the commission’s Final Decision and Order.

Why You Need A Lawyer

It is true that bringing up a discrimination complaint can be daunting and challenging. Not only are you faced with your employer, you also have to navigate the legal maze of Missouri’s labor laws. It takes in-depth legal skills to assert your rights in this setting and to prove the injustice that you have suffered. An attorney in the field of labor law can provide these skills.

Sadly, there are workers that failed in pursuing their employment discrimination cases because they lacked the guidance and representation of a lawyer. You can avoid this mistake by contacting a lawyer you can trust – specifically someone who has successful experience in helping workers and employees.

Contact Shea Kohl Law

In St. Louis and surrounding areas, our team at Shea Kohl Law has been providing practical, results-oriented legal services to employees like you. We have decades of experience in advocating for workers’ rights and effectively handling workplace cases. Whether you want to settle your case outside the court or are keen to bring it to trial, our law firm has the knowledge, skills, and commitment to obtain for you what you deserve.

Talk to us today about your employee discrimination experience. Arrange a free consultation at (636) 946-9999.

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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.