Employment Discrimination Lawyers
In Kansas City, St. Louis & Omaha
Employment Discrimination Practice Areas
Federal law prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two categories of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment exists if an employee suffers harm because he or she is frequently the recipient of unwelcome advances, offensive comments, or other harassment. Quid pro quo harassment exists when a supervisor or another powerful authority figure in the workplace asks for sexual favors in exchange for taking a certain employment action, such as promoting an employee, or promising not to take a particular action, such as firing the employee.
State Human Rights Act (the Act) protects individuals who are 40 or more years of age but less than 70 years of age from employment discrimination based on the individual's age. The Act’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.
The Act applies to employers with six or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, "temp services", and labor organizations.
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may not discriminate against a qualified employee based on a history of disability or the employer's belief that a qualified employee has a mental or physical impairment that is not short-lived and minor. Even employees and job applicants who are not actually disabled are protected against discrimination if the employer takes an adverse employment action because it believes there is a disability. Moreover, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees who request an accommodation due to the disability, unless providing that accommodation would be overly expensive or difficult.
Unfortunately, events surrounding pregnancy nevertheless occasionally play a part in the way a worker anticipating a child is treated at work. A girl may find herself exposed to demeaning remarks or overlooked for promotions or bonuses, only on the grounds of her pregnancy. These scenarios are unlawful and might form the basis of a promise. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a federal law, workers across the U.S. are protected from adverse treatment according to pregnancy, and they're eligible to be accommodated in the office very similar to some other temporarily disabled workers. Even though the PDA covers only companies with 15 or more employees, state laws in New York expand to smaller companies.
State human rights acts protects individuals against discrimination on the bases of race and color. The Act applies to employers with six or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, “temp services,” labor organizations, landlords, housing providers, property managers, those selling houses, realtors and those providing loans for dwellings. The Act also covers all businesses that offer their goods and services to the general public, including state and local governments and therefore, those entities cannot refuse, withhold, or deny accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges to any person based on their race or color.
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of their employees, in addition to refraining from harassing them based on their religion. Religious beliefs are broadly defined under the law, extending from a membership in a particular religion to sincere ethical or personal beliefs. Unless a religious observance would create an undue hardship for an employer or interfere with a bona fide qualification of the job, an employer must accommodate an employee’s sincere desire to engage in that observance, such as by rearranging a work schedule. An employee also may have a legal claim if his or her employer fails to address hostile actions by customers or clients toward the employee based on his or her religion.
Closely related to sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination arises when an employee is treated differently from his or her co-workers based on his or her sex. For example, an employee may not base promotions or pay raises on gender stereotypes or provide benefits only to female rather than male spouses of employees. The Equal Pay Act requires employers throughout the U.S. to provide equal pay to employees who are working in substantially equal jobs, regardless of their gender. This is broadly defined to include bonuses, stock options, and benefits, in addition to actual salary. As with other forms of discrimination, federal protections against gender discrimination extend not only to current employees but also to job applicants.
Laws at the federal, state, and city levels prevent employers from treating workers differently based on their country of origin as well as certain related traits, such as ethnicity, ancestry, or foreign accent. As with other forms of discrimination, a claim may arise whether or not the employer’s perception of the employee’s national origin is accurate. For example, a company may not refuse interviews to people who have foreign accents or place additional requirements on non-white individuals during the job application process. In some situations, a company may require that only English be spoken in the workplace, but only if it promotes the necessary operations of the business.
Most anti-discrimination laws include provisions that prohibit retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as assisting with a discrimination investigation, filing a charge with the EEOC, or suing your employer for harassment. Although most employment relationships are "at will," employers cannot fire or terminate employees in order to retaliate against them. When an employee is fired for engaging in a protected activity or for some other reason that violates public policy, he or she may have grounds to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Severance agreements may be needed as a result of a company reorganization, a simple parting of ways between employer and employee, or a hostile work environment. When we handle a matter related to a severance agreement, we assess our clients’ needs and interests, to protect them in negotiations of an agreement. We also look at events that may have occurred during the employment relationship, which may affect the termination of the relationship between the parties. These include matters such as sexual harassment or discrimination, which may lead to litigation. Frequently, we can negotiate an agreement with a client’s financial advantage based on events that have occurred during employment.
Jungle Law structures severance packages to protect established goodwill, while recognizing the possibility of litigation arising from events like discrimination and harassment that may have led to termination. Many different matters can be incorporated into a severance agreement, including compensation for the former employee as well as protections for the employer, such as non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreements. Understanding all of the client's interests is critical since both employers and employees have a great deal to protect.