Articles Posted in Employment Discrimination

waiter-1151761-m.jpgThe Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace. Section 213.055 RSMo. Your employer cannot terminate you, fail to hire you, or demote you because of your sex, either male or female. Many Missouri cases tend to deal with sexual discrimination in the workplace against women, but men can also be the victims of discrimination in the workplace based on sex.
Recently, the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday has been sued by the EEOC for discriminating against its male employees. Allegedly, the restaurant chain posted a job opening and expressly asked for female candidates only. The complainants in this case worked at a Ruby Tuesday located in Republic, Missouri. However, the job posting went out to employees in many states, and was for a job opening in Utah. Ruby Tuesday hired 7 women and no men for the job. The case is still pending.
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fiver-person-team-1208846-m.jpgMissouri law, under the Missouri Human Rights Act, Chapter 213, RSMo., prohibits discrimination in the workplace. What this means, generally, is that employers in Missouri cannot fail to hire, terminate, or otherwise take “adverse employment action” against an employee because of that employee’s race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, ancestry or age, if over the age of 40 (“protected categories”).

Generally, absent a contract between the employee and employer, Missouri is an employee-at-will state, which means that employers can typically fire someone for any reason, so long as that reason is not discriminatory based on one of the above listed categories of persons. For example, it is generally not illegal for an employer to fire you just because they do not like you, or because they are just a bad boss.

Some examples of ways an employer can discriminate based on the protected categories is in hiring, firing, laying off, transferring, promoting, recalling workers, pay, benefits, disability leave, failing to accommodate someone because of their disability, or by other conditions or terms of that persons employment if they seem adverse as compared to other persons.
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school building.jpgA St. Louis City jury could not reach a verdict in a racial discrimination case brought against the St. Louis Public School District. The case was brought by Craig Gronemeyer, a long time employee of the District. Mr. Gronemeyer was demoted from his position of assistant principal at Vashon High School after the 2006-2007 school year. He claimed he was demoted because he was white. He testified at the trial that his principal, who was black, told him that black students were better off being taught by black teachers. The District denied that race was a factor in Mr. Gronemeyer’s demotion. The jury was apparently deadlocked at 8-4 in Mr. Gronemeyer’s favor.

department of corrections.jpgAn employment discrimination lawsuit was filed last week alleging the Missouri Department of Corrections retaliated against a current employee, William Johnson. Mr. Johnson claims his employer has been retaliating against him after he served as a witness for a plaintiff in a separate employment discrimination lawsuit against the Department of Corrections. Specifically, Mr. Johnson claims his employer changed past performance reviews and implied that he had a mental illness after he testified in the other case. The Department of Corrections has declined comment.

arch.jpgSt. Louis sheriff James Murphy has been accused of ignoring racial problems within the department since he was elected in 1988.Two of his deputies sued him for employment discrimination, alleging they worked in a racially charged, hostile work environment because Murphy refused to discipline 3 other employees who hung a noose from some pipes in the St. Louis Civil Courts building in 2006, near where prisoners were held. The lawsuit also alleged that Murphy passed over black employees for promotions and gave those promotions to white employees. Plaintiffs also allege that they were retaliated against for complaining about the racial problems. A jury is currently deliberating this case.

Under the Missouri Human Rights Act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on race, among other things. It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for exercising his rights under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

gender discrimination.jpgA St. Louis County jury returned a verdict on Monday in an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by two former and two current employees of the Monarch Fire Protection District. The four female plaintiffs alleged they were subjected to gender discrimination and a hostile work environment. The jury sided with the two current employees, awarding each $200,000 in damages. However, the jury sided with the District on the claims brought the two former employees. The jury did not award punitive damages.