Missouri Employment Law Blog

Can NFL players be fired for taking a knee?

There has been a lot of controversy in Missouri and across the country about NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before games. It seems the country is quite divided over whether this is a freedom of speech issue or a respect for veterans issue. Even the president has spoken out about it. It seems one major concern is whether these players could be fired due to their actions. 

For most employees, employment is at-will, which means the employer can fire the employee at any time without any concrete reason. So, essentially, if the NFL players were at-will employees, the answer would be simple because their employer could fire them. However, that is not the case because players are contract employees, according to Sports Illustrated. However, it is still very possible, despite the contract, that a player could be sent to the unemployment line. 

What are the limitation of age discrimination laws?

Discrimination in the workplace is something that despite all the laws and hardwork of legislatures still is prevalant. One area that often does not get the attention it deserves is age discrimination. If you are over the age of 40, then it is important to vigilant about how Missouri employers are treating you when it comes to your age. Making sure that you do not become a victim of discrimination simply because of how old you are can be tough, though, due to limitations on discrimination laws.

According to AARP, you need to be aware of some areas where the law may not protect you when it comes to age discrimination. One issue is that the law does not prevent an employer from asking you your age. It also does not offer you any protection if your employer has less than 20 employees. While the law does prohibit mandatory retirement ages, it will not protect you if you are in a certain field, such as aviation or public safety, where mandatory maximum ages are considered legal to promote safety in the workplace. 

Is the fight for $15 in trouble?

You may have heard of the Fight for $15 in Missouri. This nationwide movement is trying to change minimum wage in the country to $15 an hour. There has always been concern from those opposing the movement that it would raise the cost of living and put smaller businesses in bad financial situations. According to Forbes, these concerns are becoming a reality in some places and making the future of Fight for $15 uncertain.

The studies of the impact in a raise of minimum wage are being done in Washington state, but they are relevant to every state. Studies have shown there has been a reduction in the worforce for minimum wage workers and a reduction in hours for already employed individuals. So, the overall impact for those the wage raise was supposed to help was actually negative. Some likely lost their jobs, while others had their hours reduced, so their pay didn't go up at all and may have went down.

Understand pregnancy and breastfeeding rights in the workplace

Pregnancy and breastfeeding rights in the workplace aren't usually thought about until someone is faced with the need to learn about them. These rights play an important part in job stability for the women who need to call them into the picture.

If you are a pregnant woman or are returning to the workplace, you need to learn about your rights. This helps ensures that they are all respected throughout your journey into motherhood.

What constitutes age discrimination?

You may experience many different types of discrimination in a Missouri workplace. Sometimes, you may not even be aware that you were discriminated against. If you are treated unfairly due to a specific characteristic you possess, then that is discrimination. One such protected area is age, but age discrimination is not always clear. Not all age ranges are protected under federal law, which can is only part of why it can be a little confusing. It helps to become familiar with the law and the specifics of what constitutes age discrimination, so you can be aware of your own rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces discrimination laws. It also helps to explain at what age discrimination laws kick in. The law governing this type of discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It offers protection for people who are 40 years old or older against unfair workplace practices. People under the age of 40 are not protected by this law.

What types of evidence is used to prove discrimination?

While you probably are well aware that you are protected against discrimination based on your gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability in Missouri, you may not be clear on how you can prove such discrimination occurred. According to the Department of Justice, there are three main types of evidence that is used to prove discrimination claims.

Circumstantial evidence is the most common type of evidence used. It is the easiest to obtain. It does not provide exact proof that something happened, but it can provide proof of the situation and show that there were many factors present that support the claimed discrimination occurred. The more evidence of this type the better because it shows it is more than just a coincidence.

Can a compliment be sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a complex subject. What one person may see as harassment, another may not. However, what really matters is that everyone is comfortable with a situation. If even one person feels uncomfortable or upset, then it could be seen as harassment, which is illegal in every Missouri workplace.

This concept gets complicated because as society has changed, so have the rules about what can and cannot be said. Laws have been created to help draw the line. One area where the most confusion seems to occur is between compliments and sexual harassment.

Do you have a wrongful termination claim?

If your Missouri employer terminated you for a reason you believe violated your rights, you may be wondering if you have grounds for a wrongful termination claim. Missouri is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer can fire you at any time, and for almost any reason. There are, however, some exceptions to concept of at-will employment, and if your employer takes certain actions, you may be able to hold the party accountable.

Ultimately, per Findlaw, whether you have a valid wrongful termination claim is going to depend largely on whether your firing was in violation of one of your protected rights. It may, too, hinge upon whether you had an existing employment contract in place when your employer terminated you. When it comes to your protected rights, this essentially means that your employer can not lawfully fire you because of something that has to do with your religious affiliation, gender, pregnancy status, race, age or a related right.

Should you sign an employment contract?

You may be offered an employment contract for a variety of reasons in Missouri. Not every employer will require one, but if you are told you will need to sign a contract to begin employment, it may help to learn more about your rights. That includes knowing when to not sign one.

Monster notes that employment contracts are usually put in place to protect the employer and may not have your best interests in mind. You should always read through it carefully before signing. Also, be aware that any reputable company will offer you the chance to negotiate your contract and ask for revisions.

What you need to know about race and color discrimination

As an employee, it's important to understand that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against employment discrimination on the basis of both race and color (as well as other factors, such as sex, religion and national origin).

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job candidate because of his or her race or color. This holds true with respect to hiring, promotion, termination, on-the-job training, compensation and any other terms and conditions of employment.

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