Employment Discrimination Attorney in Kansas City
In the United States, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against a “protected class.” This means that if you are a member of a protected class, your employer cannot use this as a basis – even in part – for treating you differently. No employee should ever be treated unfairly because of their age, their race, their sex, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, their religion, disability or their national origin. Despite federal laws to prevent workplace discrimination, however, it’s an all-too-common problem for many workers. If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
Any unfair or prejudicial treatment of an employee or job applicant on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information constitutes workplace discrimination. It can take many forms, including:
- Hiring discrimination: It’s illegal for an employer to refuse employment to any individual simply because of their gender, race, or other protected characteristic.
- Promotion discrimination: It’s illegal for an employer to refuse or deny a promotion to any individual on account of that person’s disability, or age, or any other protected characteristic.
- Firing discrimination: Firing an employee due to discrimination because of one’s sexual identity, religion, national origin, or any other protected characteristic, is illegal.
- Pay discrimination: When an employer pays someone less than other employees in the same role because of their race, gender, nationality, or other statutorily-protected characteristic, it’s discrimination.
- Harassment: When an employee is subjected to inappropriate verbal or physical conduct in the workplace because of a protected characteristic, it’s discrimination.
- Retaliation: It’s illegal for an employer takes adverse action against an employee because they have complained about discrimination or have participated in a discrimination investigation. Unfortunately, employer retaliation is all too common.
Workplace discrimination is illegal under federal and state law, and it comes in many forms, all of which are violations of employees’ rights. If you were wrongfully terminated, denied a promotion, or treated unfairly because you are a minority or a member of another protected class, please contact us immediately.
Federal Laws to Prevent Employment Discrimination
Federal laws, particularly those listed below, protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and it requires employers to offer women equal pay for equal work.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employers from discriminatory practices in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed as an amendment to Title VII to prohibit employers from discriminating against pregnant women.
- Pregnancy Discrimination can also take the form of sex discrimination, or perceived disability discrimination.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are over 40 years of age.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their genetic information.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and it requires certain employers to offer medical leave to certain employees. Employers are prohibited from interfering with an employee’s attempts to collect FMLA, as well as from retaliating against employees to take FMLA leave.
In addition to these federal laws, there are also several state and local laws that prohibit workplace discrimination.
Kansas Discrimination Laws
The Kansas Act Against Discrimination (KAAD) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or genetic information. The KAAD further protects employees by prohibiting employer retaliation.
Missouri Discrimination Laws
The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or age (ages 40 through 69). The MHRA also prohibits retaliation against employees who complain about discrimination.
Some telltale signs of workplace discrimination include:
- Being repeatedly passed over for a promotion or raise.
- Frequently being assigned to less desirable tasks or projects.
- Being subjected to negative, inappropriate comments or jokes about your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
- Being harassed and subjected to unwanted sexual advances or contact.
- Being retaliated against for complaining about discrimination, for reporting workplace discrimination, for asking that workplace discrimination cease, or for participating in a discrimination investigation.
If you have experienced any of these things, you may be a victim of workplace discrimination. Please contact our law office as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. As a Kansas City employment lawyer, Phillip Murphy II can help you understand your rights and, if necessary, file a lawsuit against your employer.
Building a Discrimination Case Against an Employer
To build a strong case against an employer for illegal discrimination, the evidence must suggest that the discrimination was much more than simple preferential treatment or favoritism. You’ll need concrete examples to prove other employees received bonuses, additional compensation, access to training, or other benefits not afforded to you. Supervisors, managers, and employers frequently have to make decisions that will benefit some employees and not others, and not all employees can receive promotions and bonuses. Therefore, it may feel like some employees receive preferential treatment over others. However, this may or may not constitute discrimination. Only if the decision to promote or provide additional compensation to another employee was based upon race, sex, gender, age or the presence of a disability can legal action be taken. Consider the following:
- Do you notice that management frequently overlook people of a certain gender, sex, race or age when making decisions regarding bonuses or promotions – even if those employees have a better job performance record?
- Does management have any history of sexual misconduct or discrimination in the workplace related to sexual harassment?
- Does the employer have any judgments already against them for either illegal discrimination or sexual harassment?
- Have you noticed that other employees also experience illegal discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace?
- Have you failed to receive any bonuses or promotions following a reporting of illegal activity or a whistleblower claim?
To prove a strong employment discrimination case based on illegal activity, it must rise to a much higher level than simple favoritism or preferential treatment.
Contact a Kansas City Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Employees in the United States are afforded some of the strongest employment law protections in the world. If you have been discriminated or retaliated against at work, do not hesitate to learn more about your rights and options.
We can investigate your specific situation and determine the best course of action for making things right. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to significant compensation for what you have endured. The first step is to put an experienced employment law attorney like Phillip Murphy II on your side. Contact us today to get started.