The unthinkable has happened: you were fired from your job without a written warning. Is this allowed? While most states allow employers to fire employees at will with no explanation, there are plenty of times in which something else is going on. From discrimination in the workplace to sexual harassment, below we’ll explain circumstances that warrant further action with the help of a wrongful termination lawyers in Kansas City, Missouri.

You Experienced Sexual Harassment at Work

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is all too common in the workplace. Many victims of sexual harassment fear losing their jobs and don’t speak up, while others do and face disciplinary action. It’s also not uncommon for companies to attempt to mitigate the situation by firing the victim before they can attract attention to the situation.

If you were experiencing sexual harassment and then got fired before you had time to react, you would benefit from reaching out to a sexual harassment lawyer in Kansas City who can explain your options regarding wrongful termination. You may be unsure about what qualifies as sexual harassment. There are two types protected under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for companies with over 15 employees: quid pro quo harassment and harassment that creates a hostile work environment.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment happens when someone superior uses their higher position over you to ask for sexual favors. In return, you will either get a benefit, like a raise or promotion, or that supervisor will not penalize you.

If your boss makes it clear that you will not receive the better hours you asked for unless you complete a sexual obligation, you are experiencing sexual harassment. The same goes for threats: your employer should never ask you to perform sexual tasks to keep your current position. Being fired soon after refusing these sexual favors is often a sign of wrongful termination. It is not your fault, no matter what a supervisor may lead you to believe. You should contact a wrongful termination lawyer in Kansas City immediately.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment means that you feel uncomfortable in your place of work because of others’ conduct. While no one may be asking for favors or initiating sexual conduct, you are still distracted from your work. A hostile work environment could result from someone spreading sexual rumors about you, repeatedly asking about your sex life with no concern for your privacy, and making sexually suggestive comments, especially after you’ve asked them to stop.

A man holding a box of his belongings from work because he was fired without any warning from his job and needs to hire a wrongful termination lawyer in Kansas City.

You Were the Victim of Sexual Assault and Need a Kansas City Wrongful Termination Attorney

In some cases, inappropriate sexual behavior may rise to the level of assault. Sexual assault means that someone made physical, sexual contact with you without obtaining your consent. Any physical or verbal action that signals that you do not want to initiate sexual contact means that you didn’t give consent. Assault is viewed as a criminal action under the law, regardless of where it happens, including in the workplace.

Because of the gravity of sexual assault, your employer may try to sweep an incident under the rug, hoping that the strong emotions after an assault may deter you from taking action. Firing you suddenly is a way to send the message that you’d be better off staying silent. Don’t let your former employer get away with this reprehensible treatment. Hiring a wrongful termination attorney in Kansas City can help you move forward while getting justice.

You Were Discriminated Against Because of Race

If you were fired from your job without written warning and with no explanation, it may be completely unrelated to you. It may also be a result of unethical racial practices within the company. While open hostility towards people of other races can be easy to identify, there are numerous other actions that constitute racial discrimination and may be the reason for your unlawful termination.

A company that has to downsize and only fires people of a certain racial background because of a stereotype about work ethic is committing racial discrimination. Supervisors who continually give undue criticism to an employee of a certain race may be unwittingly committing racial discrimination. Being fired because of perceptions about your race is grounds for wrongful termination, regardless of whether or not you get a written note in advance.

You Disclosed Information About Your Private Life Before Being Fired

But discrimination in the workplace extends far beyond race. It also biased treatment due to religion, medical history, sexuality, disability, age, and place of origin. While it’s legal for your employer to ask for your age in the hiring process, most private information relating to your personal life will stay private unless you choose to share it.

If you notice that you are let go soon after you start to share personal information with your coworkers or boss, you may be the victim of wrongful termination. It’s certainly not illegal for others to have opinions, but they are not allowed to treat you differently because of these opinions, and they are especially not allowed to fire you. Below are a few circumstances where you may have the grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit in Kansas City, Missouri.

Medical History

Your employer can ask you certain medically related questions if they relate to your job. For instance, police officers need to pass a physical fitness test, and employers don’t have to hire you if you can’t complete the physical labor that a job requires. But your medical history and conditions should never be the reason that you are fired unless they directly relate to how the work you’re doing.

You may reveal that you suffer from a certain autoimmune disease or dietary condition that affects the foods you eat but does not affect your job performance, for instance. If your employer finds out about this condition, then suddenly fires you with no written warning or explanation, you may be facing discrimination. It is also illegal to force you to quit, demote you, reduce your pay, or prevent you from getting benefits.

Sexuality

Employers cannot discriminate against you based on sex. This includes pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Who you are in relationships with outside of the workplace does not affect the company, and you are not required to disclose this information. You should never be made fun of or required to talk about your sexuality. Refusing to talk about it and being fired or being fired soon after revealing your sexuality may be a sign that you were fired unfairly.

Another instance of sexual discrimination in the workplace is being fired after getting pregnant or expressing the desire to have children. Parents have legal protection and cannot be discriminated against for wanting to start a family or starting one.

You Were Fired After Retaliating in Jackson County, Missouri

Many people who notice unethical or illegal behavior in the workplace choose to report it. Shortly after, they find themselves unemployed. This is illegal.  Your company cannot fire you for reporting wrong behavior, whether it’s sexual harassment or safety violations. You may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit if this happened to you.

You deserve a full and fair recovery after your wrongful termination. Our wrongful termination lawyers in Kansas City will fight for you, regardless of what it takes. Contact us at Holman Schiavone to work with a team that takes your case as seriously as you do. We look forward to making things right.