Federal and state laws protect workers in Southern Missouri from discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, wage theft, wrongful termination, and retaliation. However, employers often fail to meet their legal obligations. If you believe you have suffered unfair treatment at work, consulting an experienced employment law attorney is essential.
At Privette Law Office, we help employees throughout Southern Missouri fight back against discrimination, harassment, and other misconduct in the workplace. Well-versed in the applicable equal employment opportunity laws, we have a well-earned reputation as dedicated advocates who provide our clients with informed representation when they need it most. Contact our Willow Springs office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Southern Missouri Employment Law & Discrimination Attorney
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, color, national origin, religion, gender/sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination (PDA)
- Equal Pay Act (EPA)
- Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA)
- Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA)
- Missouri’s Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA)
These laws forbid employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on their protected status. In short, it is illegal for employers to discriminate regarding employment decisions such as hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, compensating, or any other terms and conditions of employment. If you have suffered gender, age, disability, sex, national origin, and/or religious discrimination in the Southern Missouri workplace, trust Privette Law to protect your rights.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Is Illegal
Sexual harassment is considered an unlawful form of sex-based discrimination under federal and state law. Sexual harassment can occur when an employer or supervisor makes unwanted sexual advances or demands in exchange for a job offer, promotion, or another benefit of employment. That is referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment.
Sexual harassment also involves offensive comments, conduct, or visual displays by anyone in the workplace (e.g. supervisor, coworker, vendor, customer) that are severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment. While women are more likely to be harassed, sexual harassment can impact anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Nonsexual harassment in the workplace is also illegal. That can occur when offensive comments, jokes, and other behavior intimidate someone because of their protected status. To have a valid claim for sexual or nonsexual harassment, an employee must show that they complained about the illegal behavior and that the employer failed to take appropriate action. At Privette Law Office, we believe that all employees in Southern Missouri have a right to a work environment free from harassment and are here to help you fight back.
Wrongful Termination and Retaliation Attorney
Missouri is an “at-will” employment state. That means an employer can terminate you anytime with or without cause. However, an employer cannot fire you for an illegal or discriminatory reason. If you have a reason to believe that you were suspended, let go, or fired because of racial, gender, or religious discrimination, or discrimination on any other protected characteristic, you could have a valid wrongful termination claim in Missouri.
In addition, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who exercise a legal right, complain about discrimination or harassment, or oppose and report illegal or unethical conduct (“whistleblowing”). By working with an experienced employment law lawyer, you can protect your employment rights.
Wage and Hour Claims
Employers in Southern Missouri must pay their employees the state minimum wage ($11.15 in 2022). Eligible employees must also receive overtime pay of one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 per week. There are also wage and hour laws specific to restaurant and hospitality workers. Employers are permitted to pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage, provided they receive enough tips to make the difference.
At Privette Law Office, we regularly handle a wide range of wage violations, such as:
- Minimum wage violations
- Overtime pay violations
- Misclassification of exempt and nonexempt employees
- Misclassification of independent contractors
- Unpaid Commissions
If you are involved in a wage and hour dispute, you can depend on us to protect your rights and help you recover the wages you have earned.
Why Choose Privette For Your Southern Missouri Employment Law Case?
Our employment law attorneys know employers hold all the cards when making employment decisions. We have the skills and experience to level the playing field and will help you stand up for your employment rights. Though you may be reluctant to take legal action against your employer because you fear losing your job, your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for asserting your rights.
When you meet with us, we will take the time to understand your situation and explore your legal options. While many employment-related disputes settle out of court, we are prepared to go the distance and take your case to trial to achieve the best possible outcome. Above all, we will work in your best interests and stand by you every step of the way.
Contact Our Experienced Southern Missouri Employment Law Attorneys
The contemporary workplace is constantly evolving, and employers have a legal obligation to follow applicable federal and state laws. When employers fail to do so, employees have a right to take legal action without fear of retaliation. If you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment or mistreated by your employer in any way in Southern Missouri, Privette Law Office is here to protect your rights. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation.
Privette Law Office handles a variety of employment law cases across Southern Missouri including Howell County, Greene County, Wright County, and Butler County. We handle cases in cities such as Springfield, Poplar Bluff, West Plains, and Joplin all from our main office in Willow Springs.