FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
about Missouri Employment Law and Employee Rights
This is a somewhat different kind of FAQ. The Key Difference: Employment law is so complex that “Short Answers” are not appropriate in most instances. That’s why the FAQ items listed below actually link to separate full articles on this website. The “Answers” are in the articles; the FAQ points you at the articles that address the FAQ items.
What to do if you don’t see your exact Question covered below: Go to my Site Map (see link on each page) and read each article’s description; [Sitemap might be disabled due to coding issues]. Look at the Links listed on each page, and visit some of the sites.
NOTE: I’ve been working on a new format for the FAQ, and it’s taking me a while to get the FAQ where it needs to be. I hope you find it useful regardless of its current state of flux.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS FAQ
How to get started in learning employment law, Steps to Consider when Fired, Service Letter, “At-Will” Employment, Should I sue?, Job Seeker Tips
Avoiding BIG Traps
Making Complaints about Unfair Treatment, Quitting your job (Constructive Discharge), Government Employees and short deadlines
Contracts – Non-Competes – Severance – Waiver
Employment Agreements Generally (Oral and Written), Physician Contracts, Specialty Contracts, Non-Competes, Severance-Waiver-Separation Agreements, Waiver of Rights
Pay and Benefits issues
Wage problems, Unpaid Final Wage Penalty, FMLA (Family Medical Leave), Commission problems, Vacation and Sick Pay problems
About Tim’s Services
How I handle inquires and consultations, Services and fees, Directions to my office
Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Discrimination, Hostile Environment, Harassment, Workers comp trouble, Safety-OSHA complaints
Other Employment Law Topics
Defamation, Whistleblower, Drug Testing, Handbooks, Honesty Issues, Unemployment Appeals, Job Stress and Depression, etc.
What an employment lawyer is and how to find one, What’s a “worthwhile case”, Things I especially like to see in cases, Deficiencies in our employment laws, Pros and Cons of litigation, Timeline of lawsuits
How I learned to build websites, Problems with older version web browsers, Accessibility notes, Non-legal stuff
All FAQ questions and links to the most relevant Articles
Introductory Topics – Guides
- Where do I start my inquiry into learning about employment law? See How to use TimsLaw.com – Points you to the resources available on this site and gives tips on how to use the info you obtain.
- I’ve been fired and want to know my Missouri Employee Rights. See Been fired? Steps to consider – If you’ve lost your lob, there are certain things you could consider doing, and certain rights you could consider exercising, and certain Articles on this site that could be of interest to you.
- I’ve been told I am an “At Will” Employee. What does that mean? See “At Will” employment – “At Will” employees have lots of legal rights. This Article describes what the common term “At-Will Employment” or “Employment At-Will” really means.
- What is a “Missouri Service Letter” and why should I care? See Service Letter.
- I still don’t know what to read. What are other people finding interesting? See The Top Ten articles viewed by visitors – Some people may find it helpful to see what other people have been interested in viewing, in helping them decide what they might want to review.
- Should I sue over the harm I think was done to me? See Should I sue? for an intro to the considerations. It’s a complicated decision.
- I’m having trouble getting back on my feet after losing my job. Any tips for me? See Tips for job seekers – I have collected a list of high quality employment information websites, and provided some quick tips for job seekers that I hope will help some people get back on their feet or just avoid digging themselves a deeper hole.
Avoiding BIG Traps
- SEVERANCE – I’ve been let go and they’ve asked me to sign a contract waiving my rights. See Severance, Separation and Waiver Contracts. This Article should answer a lot of potential questions about what a “Severance Agreement” is, what the “waiver” provision means, and whether the employer can revoke the offer, and other related subjects.
- I have an “oral agreement” or a “written agreement” with my employer. See Contracts generally. General info about Oral and Written agreements – Everyone has at least an “oral” agreement to work for wages
- I’m being hired to help fix a problem or establish a new line of business for the company. Any tips for me? See Contracts for “Gurus”. Tips and traps for persons who have special expertise and are being hired to set a company up in a line a business, fix a major problem, overhaul a product or service, etc.
- I have a “Non-Compete” or “Non-Solicitation” or “Confidentiality” Agreement. Tell me about these things. See Non-Competes . Tries to answer a lot of potential questions about the various types of “restrictive covenants” in Missouri and how the courts look at each type, such as Agreements not to compete, not to solicit, and confidentiality agreements.
- I’m a Physician and want some info about contract issues and the Medicare Fraud and Safe Harbor regulations. See Physicians. Tries to alert doctors to some of the major subjects their contracts should probably deal with, gives some negotiating tips, and briefly discusses the medicare fraud safe harbor issues and non-compete issues.
Pay and Benefits
- OVERTIME – Am I “exempt”? Is it OK for my employer to give me “Comp Time”? I am “Salaried.” See Overtime-Comp-Time
- COMMISSIONS – I’m not receiving all the commissions I am due: See Unpaid Commissions.
- MINIMUM WAGE – See my minimum wage info page.
- WAGE and SIMPLE BENEFIT PROBLEMS – Underpaid wages, withheld pay, cheated out of wages, bounced checks, offsets for money owed, simple Non-ERISA benefit problems. See Simple Wage and Benefit Disputes.
- WAGES – Unpaid FINAL wages – When you were fired the employer did not pay you up to date. Trigger a penalty. See Unpaid Final Wages.
- FMLA – Family Medical Leave Act issues – Lots of info and tips and traps about using FMLA time, eligibility issues, disputes about FMLA time, serious health condition. See FMLA.
- VACATION PAY AND SICK PAY – Your employer owes you some vacation pay or sick pay. See Vacation pay and sick time
- BENEFITS – COBRA, HIPAA, ERISA, Continuation of coverage. HIPAA Portability and Health information privacy, Continuation of coverage rights under COBRA and Missouri law, ERISA info and linksSee Summary of COBRA, ERISA, HIPAA and Continuation rights
About Phil, Inquiries, Services
- I’ve been “Wrongfully Terminated.” See Wrongful Termination.
- I’ve been Retaliated against. See Retaliation.
- COMPLAINING about unfair treatment: What is a good way to complain to the employer? Who do you complain to within the company? What should you say? What should you watch out for? See Making Complaints.
- DISCRIMINATION Procedures (EEOC, Right to sue, time to file). See Discrimination.
- DISCRIMINATION Laws – “Civil Rights Act”, “Title VII”, Section 1981, Missouri Human Rights Act, Equal Pay Act. See Discrimination.
- DISCRIMINATION Charges -How to file a “charge of discrimination” with the EEOC. See Discrimination.
- DISCRIMINATION – My employer is discriminating against me because of my gender, pregnancy, race, age, religion, national origin, disability, etc. See Discrimination.
- FIRED – I’ve been terminated – what are some of my Missouri Employee Rights? See Been Fired? Steps to consider.
- HARASSMENT GENERALLY – You are being mistreated in a general way at work. See Harassment, generally. If “sexual” then see Sexual Harassment.
- HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT – You work in a “hostile” environment. What legal rights do you have? What do lawyers look for in deciding whether they can help you? See Hostile Work Environment.
- QUITTING – Should I quit my job due to mistreatment at work? See Quitting.
- QUITTING – I quit my job due to mistreatment without getting legal advice first. Am I out of luck? See Quitting.
- RETALIATION GENERALLY – Describes the kind of things lawyers look for when you think you are being retaliated against. Certain types of retaliation are illegal. Checklist to see if you might have engaged in common types of “protected activity” and thereby gained protection against retaliation. See Retaliation.
- SAFETY – I complained about a safety problem to my employer or to OSHA and now I am having job problems or the employer is retaliating against me. See Safety-OSHA-Retaliation.
- SEXUAL HARASSMENT – Sexual comments or conduct at work, touching, demands for favors. See Sexual Harassment.
- WHISTLEBLOWERS – I “blew the whistle” on something and now I am having job problems. See Whistleblowers.
- WORKERS COMP RETALIATION – You filed a workers comp claim and now the employer is mistreating you or has fired you. See Workers Comp Retaliation.
- WRONGFUL TERMINATION – What makes a termination legally wrongful? What do lawyers look for? What are my legal rights if I think I’ve been wrongfully terminated? See Wrongful Termination.
Other Employment Law Topics
- COMPLAINING about job problems. Tips and Traps.
- DEADLINES – I may have missed a deadline to file charges or complaints or lawsuits.
- DEFAMATION and SLANDER. Someone defamed me. A former employer gave me a bad reference. Someone at work is saying bad things about me. What “Defamation” and “Slander” really are in Missouri, plus MO reference letter law.
- DEFICIENCIES in Missouri’s employment protections. Describes a lot of ways in which Missouri’s employment protections need improvement. This article might open your eyes and answer some questions and explain why it’s so hard to find an employment lawyer sometimes.
- EMPLOYEE RIGHTS IN MISSOURI. What are some of my Missouri Employee Rights?
- DISHONESTY or STEALING issues: Your employer has accused you of some form of dishonesty. Things to look for when falsely accused of dishonesty, or your honesty is questioned.
- DRUG TESTING – I tested dirty, they say, but I’m clean. What lawyers look for when you say you’re the victim of a false positive drug test.
- HANDBOOKS. Employment manuals and personnel policies – are the promises enforceable?
- LABOR LAW – Difference between labor law and employment law, grievances, Breach of Duty of Fair Representation, NLRB info.
- MEDIATION – What is “mediation” and how does the process work?
- PERSONNEL FILES – My employer will not let me see my file or give me a copy.
- “PRO SE” filings – Filing a lawsuit without a lawyer.
- SAFETY ISSUES – Unsafe workplaces, OSHA, and retaliation.
- RESUME PROBLEMS.
- SERVICE LETTER – It’s a good tool. What it is and how to get one.
- SMALL CLAIMS COURT INFORMATION
- STRESS and DEPRESSION in connection with job problems
- UNEMPLOYMENT APPEALS – If you have an appeal coming up. Tips on dealing with unemployment appeals.
- WHISTLEBLOWERS. What “whistleblowing” is, with some specific info to complement the general info in the Retaliation and Wrongful Termination articles.
Background Info – Tips
Article written by | Tim Willoughby
Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law
Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)
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.
Missouri Bar Website (To view the directory of lawyers).
Phil Willoughby, Attorney
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas
Kansas City Office:
GUNN, SHANK & STOVER, P.C.
9800 NW Polo, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64153
Google Map of 9800 NW Polo, Kansas City, MO 64053
St. Louis, MO Office:
St. Louis: 314-729-7750
Kansas City: 816-454-5600
Website - www.TimsLaw.com
Detailed Directions to Phil's office
Info about contacting the Willoughby Law Firm
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