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St. Louis Missouri Labor & Employment Law Firm | Emloyment Discrimintation Attorney | Understanding Retaliation and Retaliatory Discharge
Call Us Now : (314) 645-4100
Understanding Retaliation and Retaliatory Discharge

Understanding Retaliation and Retaliatory Discharge

Retaliation At Work

The State of Missouri and the federal government have passed laws which make it illegal to fire, harass, demote, or otherwise 'retaliate' against you just because you filed a charge of discrimination, because you participated in an employment discrimination proceeding, or because you otherwise complained to your employer about discrimination on the job. Both applicants for an employment position and those hired as employees (including those who may have been wrongfully discharged) are protected under these laws.

How Might My Employer Try To Retaliate Against Me?

Your employer might:

  • Refuse to hire you
  • Fire you or terminate your employment
  • Reduce your pay or refuse to pay your compensation altogether
  • Refuse fringe benefits
  • Take you off job assignments
  • Take clients and other accounts away from you
  • Lay you off
  • Refuse to provide reasonable accommodations
  • Harass or treat you unfairly in any other manner regarding your employment

What Is 'Retaliatory Discharge'?

Retaliatory discharge refers to when an employer goes so far as to fire or terminate your employment in retaliation for you pursuing your legal right to file or participate in a charge of discrimination or other protected activity.

In order to prevail on a claim of retaliatory discharge, you must demonstrate a clear causal connection between the protected activity and the discharge. The more evidence you can put forward that you were an adequate employee and that your former employer had not otherwise been preparing to fire you, the better your chances of prevailing.

Establishing Our Case

In order to prove that your employer retaliated against you, you must prove three important elements:

  1. You must demonstrate that you complained of discrimination, usually by filing a formal complaint with the Missouri Human Rights Commission or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  2. You must demonstrate that your employer took adverse action against you.
  3. You must demonstrate that the adverse action was causally linked to the complaint of discrimination.

Once you make this initial case, the employer would then likely attempt to argue that it had an otherwise legitimate and nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse action it took against you. However, even if the employer proves that it had a legitimate reason for the way it treated you, we then have a second opportunity to show that the employer's proffered reason for acting was pretext, or a false excuse, for illegal retaliation.

Have You Been Retaliated Against?

Please contact Attorney Jason M. Finkes today to schedule a consultation about your case and we can determine together whether it might be in your best interest to pursue a charge against your employer or former employer. Attorney Jason M. Finkes is available by telephone at (314) 645-4100 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it