As an employee in Kansas City, MO, you have certain employee rights. There are several situations in which you may need to hire an employment lawyer to advocate for your rights, particularly when the employee-employer relationship is strained because of disputes. Hiring a lawyer will ensure that you can settle employment-related matters to cover lost wages, damages, and other compensation.
Seven Situations to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Kansas City, MO
1. Wrongful Termination
In general, one of the most common reasons to hire employment lawyers in Kansas City, MO is for wrongful termination cases. Wrongful termination occurs when your employer breaches the employment contract and fires you without just cause. For example, it may be considered wrongful termination if you are fired because of discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, or other circumstances that breach the employment agreement.
In wrongful termination cases, you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages and damages, including unpaid wages. In Missouri, your employer will have seven days to pay your unpaid wages if you are not paid on the same day as your termination. If your employer refuses to pay your final paycheck, you will need the help of a lawyer to recover these wages and other compensation for damages.
2. Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace is another reason you may need to hire a lawyer. Discrimination in the workplace comes in many forms and can be subtle or overt. For example, discrimination such as racial slurs is just as serious as discrimination that does not allow you to seek promotions you are eligible for because of your gender or race.
3. Wage Disputes
Wage disputes are common issues where you, as an employee, do not believe that you are earning the correct amount of money. Wage disputes are commonly pursued by women who may be getting paid significantly less than their male counterparts. A wage dispute can be very difficult to win, but Missouri law is clearly in favor of employees’ rights.
Other examples of wage disputes can include an employer not complying with the legal requirements for minimum wage. This can include paying a lower youth minimum wage, making employees work overtime without paying them, and deducting too much for tips.
4. Health and Safety
In all occupations, employees are entitled to work in a safe and healthy workplace. If your workplace is meant to comply with OSHA standards of health and safety, then your employer is obligated to ensure that these standards are met. To not do so is to endanger employees, which can cause workplace injuries, particularly in unsafe work conditions or occupations that are inherently dangerous.
You may need the help of a lawyer to file a health and safety complaint about OSHA standards. You may also need the help of a lawyer if you were fired because you filed a complaint about your employer not following OSHA protocols.
5. Family and Medical Leave
You may also need an employment lawyer if you need to assert your employee’s rights for family and medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that allows employees who are covered by the benefit to take time from work to handle family or medical needs. You cannot be fired for taking family or medical leave, but if you lose your job for this reason, then you will need a lawyer to help you recover lost wages and other compensation.
Several circumstances qualify for family and medical leave under federal law, including care of a sick spouse, minor, or incompetent child, self-care for a serious health condition that leaves you unable to work, and the birth or adoption of a new child.
6. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is another reason why you may need a lawyer. In these cases, you will need the protection of a lawyer while your harassment dispute is settled. Ideally, the goal of settling workplace sexual harassment is to allow you to keep your job. If you are fired because you filed a complaint about sexual harassment, then this counts as retaliation and is illegal in Missouri, so you are likely eligible to file a lawsuit against your ex-employer.
7. Unemployment Compensation
In general, filing for unemployment is only possible if you are fired from your job. However, there are certain circumstances in which an employee who quits a job is still entitled to unemployment compensation. For example, if the employee quit a job for a valid reason, such as unsafe circumstances caused by the employer, the employee is likely eligible for unemployment benefits. You may still need a lawyer to obtain unemployment compensation from the state.
There are several circumstances where you may need the help of a lawyer who specializes in employment law in Kansas City, MO. For example, if you were wrongfully terminated, if you are unable to gain unemployment compensation, or if you are having an ongoing wage dispute, the expertise of a lawyer will help you and your employer come to a settlement that will compensate for your loss of wages or other damages.