Employment Law Attorneys in St. Louis Fighting For You
Employment in Missouri follows the at-will statute, which upholds that an employer may fire an employee for no reason, but not for an unlawful reason. For instance, your employer may not fire you because you refuse to violate the law in carrying out your job duties.
If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, contact an employment law attorney from Riggan Law Firm, LLC for professional legal representation in your case. With over 30 years of combined experience, the firm's dedicated employment law attorneys can properly assess your case of termination and craft a defense against your unlawful firing.
Wrongful Termination Laws
Missouri operates under at-will employment laws, which state that employees may be terminated any time, as long as they do not have an employment contract promising them employment for a specific period of time. Note that an employment contract must be physically written and signed in order for their employment status to be exempt from the state’s at-will status. If your employer has fired you in violation of the terms of your contract, regardless of the state’s at-will employment laws, you have a case of wrongful termination for breach of contract.
Anti-discrimination laws further protect employees from unlawful termination, as you cannot be discharged based on your race, color, age, religion, disability, gender, national origin, or pregnancy. These traits are protected under the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also protects an employee’s right to return to work after taking leave for certain reasons and cannot be fired for doing so.
Examples of Wrongful Termination Scenarios
Some examples of your protected behavior that is an unlawful reason for terminating your employment are:
- refusing to perform an illegal act or commit a violation of public policy in your work;
- complaining about your employer's safety violations internally within the company or to a governmental agency such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration;
- reporting the employer's wage/hour violations to the Department of Labor;
- reporting a hospital or nursing home for patient abuse/neglect;
- "blowing the whistle" internally to certain management employees;
- serving on jury duty;
- engaging in union-related activity, such as joining a union or engaging in collective bargaining;
- asserting a workers' compensation claim or exercising other rights under workers' compensation laws;
- making a claim of or participating in an investigation of alleged violations of federal mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud statutes or any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission;
On the note of wage and hour laws, be aware that Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $7.70 per hour, and anyone who works over 40 hours per week is entitled to overtime pay. Missouri does not require that your employer allow for breaks; however, if they do, and if those breaks are 20 minutes or less, you are still entitled to be paid for that time. You should not be penalized with termination for making any complaints about not being paid appropriately.
Have You Been Wrongfully Terminated? Call (314) 684-8406
If you have been unlawfully fired from your job, you should seek experienced legal counsel immediately. The team at Riggan Law Firm, LLC will work aggressively on your case to ensure the unlawful employer be held accountable for their unjust actions. When you retain the legal assistance of an employment lawyer at Riggan Law Firm, LLC, you can trust that your rights will be protected and your freedoms as an employee aggressively defended.
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