As an employee in Kansas, you have the right to work in a safe, non-hostile environment without being discriminated against based on your skin color, gender, or religion. Part of what enables Kansas City workplaces to be welcoming and safe is the fact that employers are held accountable not only by state and federal laws but by the fact that their employees have the right to make complaints and file claims. When employers do not live up to the standards set by Kansas or federal laws, they will face strict fines and possibly lawsuits filed by their employees. For this system to work, employees must be able to bring complaints and file claims against their employees without fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, while the law is on the side of the employee, employers still quite commonly take adverse action against employees who speak up against them.
Kansas State Law Makes It Unlawful for Employers to Retaliate
According to the Kansas Department of Labor section 300-08-12, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who has filed a claim against the employer for harassment or discrimination. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for participating in an investigation into the employer’s conduct, whether it is in regard to harassment or other wrongdoing. When an investigation is in the name of public policy, the law is on the side of the employee and will protect the employee’s position, pay, and other statuses that they hold with their employer.
Common Types of Retaliation Taken by Kansas City Employers
Any negative employment decision or act of getting even with an employee because of their cooperation with an investigation or claim that they filed is considered to be retaliation. Some of the more common types of retaliation include the following:
- Firing the employee;
- Denying a promotion;
- Lower an employee’s salary or hourly wages;
- Demoting the employee;
- Giving an unjustified performance review;
- Refusing to hire the applicant (if the employer wrongdoing occurred during the hiring process);
- Unjustified and/or increased surveillance of the employee;
- Harassment; and
- Filing civil or criminal charges.
When Does Retaliation Occur and Who is Protected?
Protected, or covered, individuals include employees and closely involved individuals, and retaliation normally occurs when that person has opposed an employer’s discrimination or filed a complaint about discrimination. Discrimination and harassment involve oppressive employment decision or harassment based on the employee’s race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ethnicity, or sex, according to statute 44-1009. Moreover, employees who have requested a reasonable accommodation, such as a pregnant employee asking for more frequent breaks, are also protected against retaliation. Being part of a class action lawsuit against your employer for wrongdoing or cooperating with an OSHA investigation are also grounds for protection. However, if you have simply opposed your employer’s decision based on moral or ethical grounds, you are not protected from termination.
Reach Out to a Kansas City Employment Attorney Today
Have you been fired or demoted because of your involvement in a lawsuit or discrimination claim against your employer? If so, this only further proves that your employer is not a law-abiding entity and deserves to be held accountable. Call a Kansas City lawyer at HKM Employment Attorneys today for help.