Missouri, under the Department of Labor, has strict laws regarding workplace ethics. It is illegal for an employer to treat an employee in a prejudiced manner when the employer is doing so because of a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, or nationality. Workplace discrimination claims are rising rapidly across the country. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that in 2016 there were 91,503 individual charge fillings, more than 2,000 more than the year before. EEOC filings do not include state-level employment discrimination charges, which are handled by the Missouri Department of Labor. If you have been treated unethically by your employer, you have up to 180 days from when the discrimination occurred to file a complaint under the Missouri Human Rights Act, or 300 days to file for employment discrimination under the federal EEOC. As such, you need to act quickly. Waiting an extra week can turn into a month or more, and as memories fade it becomes harder to conduct an ethics investigation and find proof of employer wrongdoing. Contact an HKM Employment attorney at once to get started immediately.
How are Ethics Investigations Started?
When an employer treats an employee or job interviewee unfairly because of a protected characteristic, the victim has a right to justice. An ethics investigation may be conducted to seek out wrongdoing on behalf of the employer. Employers are barred in the state of Missouri from discriminating based on the following protected traits:
- National Origin;
- Age, if over 40 years old; and
Furthermore, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against the employee for participating in an investigation, filing a discrimination complaint, or proceeding under the Missouri Human Rights Act. It is also unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of a person’s protected traits that the employee associates with. For example, the employee could be a white, Christian male and be fired for having a Muslim girlfriend, and that firing would still be classified as discrimination despite the employee’s own characteristics. Employees also cannot fire or take adverse actions against employees who participate in a federal whistleblower lawsuit, or cooperate in any investigation of their employer. Wrongful termination and retaliation may not be discrimination, but they still fall under unethical treatment of employees.
Evidence of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination can be in the form of any of the following when the negative act is taken because of a bias against a protected trait:
- Refusal to hire;
- Discriminatory job advertising;
- Denial of equal pay, healthcare benefits, vacation or sick time, or promotions;
- Failure to fairly assist the employee with career trajectory; and
- Much more.
Call a St. Louis Ethics Investigation Employment Lawyer at Once
Your employer may have unknowingly violated Missouri or federal law, yet they still need to be held accountable. Workplace discrimination and retaliation must be dealt with by an experienced attorney. The St. Louis HKM Employment Attorneys have experience in all types of cases and against both small and large employers. Contact us today.