Missouri Employee Rights
I am listing some of our “Employee rights” in this separate article because people expect me to have such a list on my website. But see the Caveats and Cautions below for limitations on the usefulness of this listing.
This Article is a work in progress. There are more useful forms of specific “Employee Rights” articles on this website, such as Been Fired? Steps to consider, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Discrimination, Harassment, Benefits: Erisa, Hipaa, Cobra, etc, and much more. See the Articles Site Map for a complete listing of the material covered on this website.
Jump to the following sections, or just scroll down the page
CAVEATS and CAUTIONS
What’s a “Right”, and does it apply to you?
- People will disagree about what a “Right” really is. Depending on how broad your definition is, then the number of so-called “Rights” will vary.
- No “Right” is absolute. Rights are conditional. The Right applies IF the conditions are present. Therefore, “Rights” don’t really apply to everyone – they apply to those who qualify. Do you qualify? Who knows.
- Rights change. New court decisions place new limits on the “Right.” Rarely, court decisions create new “Rights.”
- Some “Rights” are nearly meaningless most of the time for most people.
- Rights can be easily lost. Have you lost some of your rights? Who knows.
- Some Rights should NOT be exercised in particular circumstances, for strategic legal reasons. Should YOU exercise your Rights in YOUR circumstances? Who knows. A right can be thought of as a tool … a tool that is to be used as part of a carefully designed legal strategy, which I talk about in more detail in an article, Deciding what to do – Suing, etc.
- I can’t list ALL of your “Rights” because I don’t know them all.
Here’s why I don’t (and never will)
know ALL of your Missouri Employee Rights
- There is no official guidebook in Missouri defining ALL of your so-called Missouri Employee Rights.
- Instead, we have thousands and thousands of laws and regulations and court decisions, all talking a bit about what is permitted and not permitted.
- Lawyers create legal theories that attempt to prove that a thing talked about in the laws and regulations and court decisions constitutes a “Right.” That’s a large part of how “Rights” are recognized. Lawyers sue over the things talked about in the laws and regulations and court decisions, trying to prove that a “Right” has been violated. When a court makes a ruling, we know a little bit more about our “Rights” (one way or the other).
- I haven’t memorized all of the thousands of laws and regulations and court decisions, and I never will.
- Lawyers know a lot about your rights, but lawyers may “discover” your particular rights only when faced with evaluating your unique circumstances to see if you might have any special rights that can be derived from the thousands of laws, regulations and court decisions. That’s part of the reason why it’s so important to get legal advice. See What an “Employment Lawyer” is and how to find one.
Let’s define our terms
As always, this discussion does not apply to Government Employees, who may or may not be covered by these “rights” and may or may not have to follow the procedures specified by the laws providing the “rights.” Those who have Employment Contracts, those who have Non-Competes, and those who have Severance and Waiver contracts should think twice and thrice before taking ANY action without first obtaining legal advice.
A thing may be listed as a “Right” if I know about a good solid law or court decision that expressly covers the subject.
I will keep the list general, and not attempt to list all of the complexities of the so-called “Right”.
I will not attempt to list the “Conditions” that place limits on the availability of the “Right.” Where I have written an Article that touches on the subject, I will provide a link to that article.
Here is the start of what will become a longer
listing of many of our Missouri Employee Rights
(Yet another incomplete Work in Progress)
- Freedom from Discrimination based on race, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability and religion. See my article on Discrimination for information about filing charges with the EEOC or MCHR and getting a “right to sue” letter.
- Freedom from Retaliation for engaging in protected activity. See my article about Retaliation for more info about what “protected activity” means.
- Freedom from Wrongful Termination. See my article on Wrongful Termination for more info.
- For employees of Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers, freedom from retaliation for reporting violations of laws or regulations, or safety complaints, or mismanagement or fraud, or for reporting other employees who are unable to do their duties. See RsMo 197.285 – Anti-retaliation Missouri Law, protecting some health care workers who report a problem of a listed type.
- Benefits: HIPAA portability and medical privacy, COBRA and Missouri health insurance continuation, ERISA pension and benefit protections. See my article Benefits – HIPAA, COBRA, ERISA, continuation for more info and links.
- Minimum wage entitlement. See my article on Wage Problems for more info and links to the DOL enforcement information pages.
- Overtime pay entitlement. See my article on Overtime Pay for more info.
- Medical Leave entitlement, under FMLA. See my article on FMLA for more info.
- Safe workplace entitlement. See my article on Safety complaints for more info.
- Workers Compensation entitlement. But watch for Workers Comp Retaliation.
- Unemployment Insurance entitlement. See my article on Unemployment Appeals for more info.
- Veterans Reemployment Rights entitlement (USERRA). See the Department of Labor’s USERRA pages for more info. USERRA covers active duty and reserve personnel. USERRA means “Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
- 60 days notice of plant closings (for large employers) under the WARN Act. See the Department of Labor’s WARN Act pages for more info. WARN means Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
- Freedom from polygraph exams for most people, most of the time. See the Department of Labor’s Polygraph pages for more info.
- Entitlement to request a Missouri Service Letter under RSMO 290.140. See my Service Letter article for more info.
- Entitlement to be paid all unpaid wages when terminated, under RSMO 290.110. See my article on Unpaid Final Wages for more info.
- Entitlement to not have wages reduced without 30 days notice, under RSMO 290.100 (penalty is $50 per employee for a violation – whoopee!)
- Freedom from discrimination on the basis of off-duty use of tobacco or alcohol, under RSMO 290.145 (no penalty or civil action allowed for violations, however)
- Entitlement to “Prevailing Wages” on public works projects, under RSMO 290.230.
- HOLES IN OUR RIGHTS: For info on limitations and major holes in our “Rights,” see my article on The Sorry State of our Employment Protections.
- THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW TO GET US STARTED. THERE ARE MANY MORE “RIGHTS” THAN LISTED ABOVE – MORE TO COME.
Article written by | Tim Willoughby
***** END OF ARTICLE *****
Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law
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Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City.
He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association.
Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City.
He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.
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