Workplace discrimination takes many forms, from paying a worker lower wages to not hiring the individual in the first place, all because of the employee or applicant’s skin color, ethnicity, gender, age, or other protected characteristic. One common type of occupational discrimination is that of firing an employee because he or she brought a workplace discrimination claim against the employer. This falls under the category of wrongful termination, and the employer must be challenged by an experienced legal team. Wrongful terminations may also be one aspect of a hostile work environment, which is said to have been created if the harassment that the employee has to endure hurts his or her ability to perform a job. If you have experienced wrongful termination or a hostile work environment, you need to contact a Kansas City employment lawyer with HKM Employment Attorneys at once.
Who is Protected Under Kansas Law?
In Kansas, protected characteristics include a person’s race, color, religion, age if over 40, national origin or ethnicity, gender, and disability. An employer cannot make an adverse employment decision based on any of those qualities. If an employer does discriminate based on a protected characteristic, such as race, the employee can file an employment discrimination claim or lawsuit. They can also confront their employer about the discrimination or participate in federal or state investigation without fear of losing their job. However, Kansas does not recognize sexual orientation as a protected characteristic, meaning that an employer is unfortunately allowed to discriminate against people in the LGBT community.
File a Claim for Wrongful Termination at the Federal or State Level
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against their employees by firing them in a variety of circumstances when the termination is based on workplace discrimination. The circumstances in which you can file a wrongful termination claim against your employer include, though are not limited to the following according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
- You were fired because you complained about discrimination, such as unequal pay;
- You were fired because you asked coworkers about their wages in order to uncover potential wage discrimination;
- You were fired because of a protected characteristic;
- You were fired after asking for an accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp;
- You filed a complaint or lawsuit against your employer based on discrimination; or
- You stood up for a coworker that was being discriminated against and were fired because of it.
If your employer has 15 or more employees, you can file your claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For employers that have just four or more employees, as per section 44-1002 of the Kansas Human Rights Commission, you can file your claim at the state level. If your employer has 15 or more employees, you also have the right to file with both federal and state agencies. If you ask for a cross-file, both agencies will be able to work together.
A Kansas City Discrimination Termination Attorney is Available to Help Today
Here at the Kansas City law offices of HKM Employment Attorneys, we have assisted clients in all types of wrongful termination cases involving discrimination. In order for a successful settlement or lawsuit award, we need to prove that your employer engaged in wrongdoing and that the reason that you were fired was not due to something else, such as poor performance or simply because your employer did not like you. This can be complicated to carry out, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side.