6 Situations to Hire a Discrimination and Retaliation Lawyer

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Missouri has strict laws when it comes to employment discrimination. According to the Missouri Human Rights Act, no one can be discriminated against because of race, religious beliefs, national origin, disabilities, sexual orientation, or age. If you are a victim of discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, you need to find a discrimination and retaliation lawyer to help you build your case.

1. You Were Fired

If you have recently been fired and believe that a discriminatory practice is behind the decision, you need to consult with an attorney. Examples of this may include being fired immediately after disclosing your sexual orientation or religious affiliation or after an accident or illness that resulted in a temporary or permanent disability.

2. You Were Not Hired

While proving that the reason behind a hiring decision is based on a discriminatory practice is difficult, if you believe this happened to you, you need to file a complaint. You can prove discrimination during a hiring process if:

  • The hiring manager asked inappropriate questions about your personal life
  • The facilities in which the interview took place did not comply with accessibility standards
  • The hiring manager or potential employer made discriminatory comments¬†

3. You Were Denied a Promotion

If you can prove that you were passed for a promotion because of discriminatory reasons (e.g., you are pregnant, or a male colleague was given preference over a more prepared female), you need to talk to discrimination and retaliation lawyers in Kansas City. A professional attorney will help you determine the evidence you need to prove your case.

4. You Were Harassed Because You Opposed a Discriminatory Practice

Suppose you were a victim or witness of discrimination in the workplace and reporting the issue resulted in a hostile work environment. In that case, your next step is to file a formal complaint. Examples of a hostile environment include racist or misogynist jokes or remarks, preventing you from attending meetings or training sessions, or demoting you.

6. You Were Refused Reasonable Accommodation

If you are a disabled employee or applicant, the employer is required by law to provide reasonable accommodation. Under the Missouri Human Rights Act, this includes (but is not limited to):

  • Restructuring the job description
  • Adjusting training materials and policies
  • Modifying existing facilities to make them usable and accessible by people with disabilities
  • Reassigning a disabled employee to a more suitable, vacant position
  • Acquiring new equipment

It’s important to note that employers are not required to reduce production standards to make accommodations for a disabled applicant or employee. Modifications should not impose an undue hardship on the employer.¬†

Some Important Factors to Consider

Understanding Protected Activities

Missouri protects workers who engage in activities that prevent or oppose discrimination. Protected opposition includes refusing to obey discriminatory orders, expressing that you want to file a discrimination complaint, and advocating against discrimination. Protected participation refers to participating in internal investigations, serving as witnesses in a discrimination hearing, and filing discrimination charges.

All protected activities must remain legal (for example, you will not be covered if you act violently or participate in actions that hurt the company’s productivity).

Should You Accept a Settlement Offer?

Accepting a settlement offer depends on many factors, such as the evidence you can provide and the amount offered. You should never discuss a settlement offer without your attorney present. While you may get a more significant sum if you decide to go to court, sometimes, settling is the best way to put the situation behind you. Your lawyer will help you evaluate the fairness of the offer and write a counteroffer if necessary.

What Can You Expect from a Lawsuit?

If you decide to take your case to court, it will be reviewed under two laws: Title VII and the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA). Under these laws, you can be entitled to:

  • Back pay and interests on back pay
  • Punitive damages (capped according to company size)
  • Damages for pecuniary losses
  • Emotional pain and suffering

After reviewing your case, your lawyer will draft a strategy and help you gather evidence, file paperwork as required by the court, and speak on your behalf during the process. Your attorney must handle all communications regarding the case.

What Constitutes Acceptable Evidence

For a discrimination, retaliation, or harassment complaint to be considered valid, you need to prove that the employer was aware of the situation and did not take any action to correct it. You must document any formal and informal complaints to your managers or superiors and keep records (emails, memos, and text messages) of communications that include discriminatory remarks or that can constitute harassment.

Workers’ rights are protected by law, and you should never be afraid to file a complaint if you feel that your rights are violated. However, getting professional help from an attorney may ease the burden on you and increase your chances of winning a trial process.

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