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November 2015 Archives

An at-will job does not mean you can be fired for any reason

Most states permit "at will" employment. A job is "at will" when the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason. Missouri is among those states that have "at will" employment laws. However, bear in mind that just because you can quit or your employer can fire you for any reason, does not mean that every reason is legitimate. A wrongful termination claim arises when you are fired for an inappropriate reason. Some examples of unlawful reasons to fire someone include:

  • Breaking an employment contract (it can be either oral or written).
  • Termination as a retaliatory measure against an individual who filed a claim or complaint against the employer.
  • Termination in violation of anti-discrimination laws, either federal or state.
  • Using termination as a means of sexual harassment.
  • Termination in violation of labor laws, including collective bargaining rights and disability protections.

Cosmetic surgery errors can cause more than physical injuries

Missouri residents who undergo cosmetic surgery generally do so in order to correct either what they perceive to be a flaw or a disfigurement from a genetic disorder or accident. When the surgery goes well, it can improve a patient's physical appearance and psychological well-being. Unfortunately, when cosmetic surgery errors occur, they can leave a patient with physical and psychological injuries.

Tipped employees get a different minimum wage

There has been a lot of talk about upping the federal minimum wage to $15 these past few years. However, just because one of the minimum wages is increased, does not mean all of them will be increased. The federal government sets a minimum level minimum wage, which as of this article is $7.25 an hour. States are free to increase the minimum wage above that, but it cannot go below.

You worked for your benefits, make sure you get them

Benefits can be any form of compensation that your employer promises to give you in exchange for your labor. A benefit is typically a wage or salary, but it also includes 401(k) matching, medical insurance, company car, company house, bonuses, reimbursed tuition and many other alternative forms of benefits. Employers can be sneaky. Your boss has other bosses that he answers to, whether that is a vice president, shareholders, investors or banks. Sometimes he manages this through efficient management and sustainable business growth, other times a boss will cut corners and take advantage of his employees.

Trash truck accident kills road construction worker

In addition to all of the other hazards that construction workers face, those who work on Missouri's roadways are also at risk of being injured by a passing motorist. Each year, several road construction workers are seriously injured or killed when vehicles on the roadways strike them. Recently a flagman at a road construction site was killed in a trash truck accident.

Missouri legislature tackles sexual harassment policy

Voters like to imagine that elected leaders are held to a higher standard. However, Missouri residents were awoken to yet another sexual scandal except this one was close to home. As you may be aware, the former Speaker of the House resigned several months ago. The resignation came after the former speaker admitted that he exchanged texts of a sexual nature with an intern who worked at the Capitol.

Do you have rights during the interview process?

The interview started out normally. He asked you questions about your work, experience and any hobbies. Then it changed into a scene straight out of Mad Men. He started asking about your family, which was strange but not out of the ordinary. He noticed the ring on your finger and asked about your spouse. Do you have children? When do you plan on having them? Strange questions, but you answer because you need this job.

Appeals Court rules in favor of employer in discrimination suit

Workplace discrimination is an evolving area of law, from who is protected and why, to what they are protected from. Thus, courts sometimes have trouble applying laws that may be outdated. Contrary to popular opinion, judges cannot make law, they can only interpret the law. Therefore, a court will not rule a new class of people is protected unless there is a way to interpret that the class is already protected under the language in the statute.

Single-car rollover accidents can be difficult to investigate

Some crashes that occur here in Missouri are challenging for investigators. For instance, the occupants of vehicles involved in suspected single-car rollover accidents may not survive to provide police with information regarding what happened. Without any additional witnesses, the factors that led to these wrecks can be elusive.

Cooperating with an investigation and wrongful termination

Most employment in the United States is "at-will." At-will employment means that you or your employer are free to end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. This means that you can quit because you want to take a vacation and don't feel like putting in the request. It also means that your employer can fire you because you keep wearing red and your boss hates red. However, an employer cannot fire you as a form of harassment, discrimination or as retaliation for cooperating with an investigation. There are an infinite number of reasons why you can be fired or laid-off, but you can never be fired as punishment for following the law.

Multiple car and truck accident on I-70 kills 2, injures 5

A mistake by one driver on a busy Missouri interstate can lead to a crash involving multiple vehicles, including passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. At highway speeds, a multiple car and truck accident can lead to serious injuries and deaths. Determining the driver or drivers responsible in such an incident could take investigators some time.

Age and experience are not always a plus

You were passed up again for another promotion. You came to this as a second career, but you work hard and bring in strong numbers. It is infuriating that people 15 years younger than you keep picking up those promotions, but you can't, regardless of how hard you work. Discriminating based upon age is a form of workplace discrimination. We are all familiar with the classic discriminated groups like religion, sex and ethnicity; however, just because age discrimination may seem outlandish does not mean it is any less hurtful.

What should I do if my check looks light?

It happened again. It's Friday. You're exhausted. It's been a long week and you missed your child's game again. You drive to work to get your check even though it's your day off. But at least you made some extra money, maybe enough to get that new bat. You slice through the envelope and your check slides out. You can't be sure, but the number looks a little light. It happened again!