As an employee, you have the right to expect your work environment to be free of illegal harassment and discriminatory behavior. Whether the discrimination or harassment is based on your race, ethnic background (including ethnic based attributes such as accent, customs, appearance, etc…) sex (including gender based attributes, stereotypes, or physicality), pregnancy, childbirth, age, religion or disability, it does not belong in the workplace and is illegal.
At Reavey Law LLC, we are strong advocates for employee rights. Our Kansas City discrimination lawyers believe that every employee has the right to be free from adverse employment action based on protected criteria. If you are a victim of a discriminatory, harassing or retaliatory action by an employer, contact our office for a free consultation.
Not all unfair and discriminatory treatment of employees by employers is unlawful. In fact, it is difficult to challenge an adverse employment action because the law only prohibits discrimination based on certain limited criteria, also known as “protected classes” or “prohibited criteria.” These classes or protected criteria are as follows: (1) race, (2) ethnic background (including ethnic based attributes such as accent, customs, appearance, etc…) (3) sex (including one’s gender based attributes, stereotypes, or physicality), (4) pregnancy/childbirth, (5) age, (6) religion or (7) disability. Consequently, to challenge an adverse employment decision by your employer, you must believe and show that it was one or more of these criteria that contributed to the employer’s decision. Additional information on unlawful discrimination can be found on the EEOC, MCHR, and the KHRC websites.
In addition to a discriminatory firing, an employer’s discriminatory behavior can take other forms, including:
Employers must prohibit and prevent inconsistent treatment of employees that is based on one or more of the above protected criteria. If you believe decisions were made, or are being made, by your employer that adversely affect you, and they were motivated in whole or in part by one of the above criteria, we can help you understand what to do about it.
Most people find it surprising that not all harassment in the workplace is unlawful. As with unlawful discrimination, harassment must be based on (1) race, (2) ethnic background (including ethnic based attributes such as accent, customs, appearance, etc…) (3) sex (including one’s gender based attributes, stereotypes, or physicality), (4) pregnancy/childbirth, (5) age, (6) religion or (7) disability, in order to be unlawful. Additionally, the conduct at issue must be more than an isolated incident in order to be considered unlawful harassment. And the harassment must be pervasive and ongoing, not a solitary comment.
One of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace is sexual harassment. This illegal form of discrimination could involve a supervisor or boss making advances on an employee, known as quid pro quo harassment. Sexual harassment could also involve inappropriate comments, touching or explicit material by a co worker, manager, supervisor, or even a vendor or customer, that makes your work environment uncomfortable or hostile.
For obvious reasons, employers rarely admit to basing an employment decision on prohibited criteria or an individual’s status as a protected class member. And many times, an employer will tell an employee one reason for an employment decision (for example, excessive absences) but the real reason for the decision is based on one of the prohibited criteria. Sometimes, the employer is vague about the reason for its decision or gives no reason, both of which may be a way to conceal the unlawful reason or mask the discrimination.
If you believe a decision was made with respect to your employment because of one of the above prohibited criteria, Reavey Law LLC can assist in determining if there is sufficient evidence or indicia that the adverse decision against you was unlawful. We thoroughly investigate the actions your employer has taken against you in the past as well as how your employer treated other employees.
For example: How has an employer treated an employee of a different race in a similar situation? The answer to this question may help us establish that the reason for your termination was simply a pretext (i.e., a cover-up) for discrimination or retaliation. We know what questions to ask to discover the truth.
At Reavey Law LLC, we represent clients who have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful discharge. We have extensive experience with a variety of employment laws, including:
If you feel you have been harmed by illegal discrimination or harassment in the workplace, contact an experienced employment attorney at Reavey Law LLC for a free consultation. After-hours and weekend appointments are available if necessary.