Missouri Retaliation Laws in Employment Discrimination Cases

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

When facing discrimination in the workplace, immediate action is essential to protect your rights. To begin the process, most employment lawyers will recommend that you make an initial complaint through the proper avenue within the company.

Many people are afraid to do this out of fear of retaliation, and rightfully so. However, you have a right to a safe and dignified work environment, and making a formal complaint can offer essential evidence in court if litigation becomes necessary. While retaliation can still happen, the law is on your side in this situation, as explained in our recent webinar with employment attorney John Eccher.

According to the Missouri Human Rights Act, your employer is prohibited by law from taking adverse action against you if you make a discrimination complaint in the workplace. These protections extend far beyond termination — additional prohibited retaliation tactics include removing your responsibilities, giving you a pay cut, or taking away your hours.

Under this law, a retaliation claim does not even require actual discrimination. It only requires an individual to have a good faith belief that they’re being discriminated against. This can be as simple as a manager giving significantly more sales leads to a male employee than a female employee. Whether that’s actually discrimination is up to the court, but it’s enough to warrant a complaint, which is all that’s necessary for your employer to feel threatened and  retaliate.

You’re most protected under these laws if you make a formal complaint to your employer prior to taking legal action. Regardless, if you feel you’re being discriminated against, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. Even if we can’t pursue litigation, we may at least be able to help you improve your work situation.


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