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Missouri Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Can I sue my former employer for defamation?

My former employer wrongly filed a report of child abuse against me and it caused me to lose a different job

Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
answered on May 14, 2024

Absent an employment contract with an arbitration provision that prevents such a lawsuit, you can sue for defamation. Defamation cases in Missouri are difficult and expensive. If you are willing and able to pay an attorney by the hour and can prove actual damages--an essential element of a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: During job interview, I was promised to work from home. Now they want me in house. Is this legal?

When I was interviewed for this job, I was told this will be work from home. This is one of the two reasons why I took this job. (The other was the pay rate) I was told I would have to work 2 days in the office per week, starting out to operate a laser engraver. It's now been two years and... View More

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Apr 1, 2024

You can ask, but as an at-will employee, either party can change the terms of employment at any time. The other party can then accept or reject those terms. In other words, the employer doesn't have to agree to let you work from home.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Consumer Law and Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: My former employer did not list my federal taxes paid on my w-2. It shows the paid state and other taxes. What can I do?

This school is a charter for the St. Louis Public Schools. While there I was harassed by my “team leader” and when the administrators would not help me, I had to quit because it was causing me severe mental distress.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 26, 2024

Here are a few options you can pursue regarding the incorrect W-2 from your former employer:

1. Contact your former employer's payroll or HR department and request a corrected W-2 that accurately reflects the federal taxes withheld from your paychecks throughout the year. All employers...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: As a contract employee of ALKU, I worked for their client Vanderbilt. ALKU Contract ended Dec 29th. Interested in full

time in house job with Vanderbilt. Does this clause in my former ALKU contract prevent my employment with Vanderbilt for the next 12 months.

Agreement Not to Solicit Clients. Employee agrees that during the

term of his employment by the Company and for a period of 12 months... View More

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Jan 24, 2024

The short answer is yes, but to get an accurate answer, you will need to hire an attorney familiar with non-competes to provide a detailed analysis of not only the provision language but the entire agreement, as well as the underlying facts of the work and employment. For a non-compete to be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Could non-compete/non-solicit contract ever lead to criminal charges? If so, provide real life example.

I have a non compete/non solicit

contract with an employer. If there some sort perception where it appears as if I want to solicit. Does this make me a fraud or criminal?

Could someone ever go to jail for non-solicit contract?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jan 18, 2024

A Missouri attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for five weeks. Those contracts usually involve civil damages. If the contract additionally includes provisions for confidentiality/disclosure in a setting where sensitive defense industry information is involved, then criminal... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: can a job not hire a person based off a tattoo when their company polices dont say anything about tattoo
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 15, 2024

In the United States, companies generally have the discretion to set their own dress code and appearance policies, which can include restrictions on visible tattoos. However, if a company does not have a specific policy regarding tattoos, making a hiring decision solely based on a person's... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for Missouri on
Q: I was given a urine drug test and was told I have to be sent elsewhere and would notify me when she finds one to go to

I did not/ have not taken any illegal drugs nor did I consume any alcohol. All I had in my system was my prescription for adderall that I had taken prior to the orientation I had attended for a job I was supposed to start this week. I still have not heard back from this employeer with further... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 5, 2024

In your situation, where a prescribed medication has affected your drug test, it's important to communicate with your employer. Provide them with documentation of your prescription for Adderall. This documentation should include a note from your healthcare provider confirming that you are... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Missouri on
Q: Can an employer use different job titles for the same job in order to pay different wages to individual employees?

I am a kidney transplant coordinator for a hospital. Hospital has just started a bone marrow transplant program and has created "transplant coordinator" job titles averaging about 15,000 dollars more than my position which is classified as "nurse clinician".

Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
answered on Nov 26, 2023

In Missouri, what you describe is not unlawful on its face. Your employer cannot discriminate based upon your membership in a protected class, such as race or national origin, but an employer generally need not be fair or nice. I don’t know if the skills for the position differ. Even if they... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Missouri on
Q: Can an employer use different job titles for the same job in order to pay different wages to individual employees?

I am a kidney transplant coordinator for a hospital. Hospital has just started a bone marrow transplant program and has created "transplant coordinator" job titles averaging about 15,000 dollars more than my position which is classified as "nurse clinician".

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Nov 26, 2023

Missouri is an at-will employment state, and the employer can pay folks however it chooses without regard to job titles. It can also discriminate against employees on any basis it sees fit EXCEPT on the basis of an employee being a member of a protected class. The protected classes are race, sex,... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Is it illegal for a job to fake offer you a position? And string you along for weeks and then "rescind it" for no reason

I was offered a position. I was told we were waiting on paperwork to process so I could get finger printed. I texted multiple people for weeks and was assured everything was good to go. Here they hired two of us and lied to me for weeks in case the other candidate didn't fall through. I lost... View More

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Nov 23, 2023

While that is unprofessional, it isn't illegal. Since the job is almost certainly at-will employment, the employer could discharge you immediately after being hired without any reason with no liability. As a result, there is no basis for a claim. There could be an exception if you were able to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Is it legal for my manager to put a medical time off request on an Outlook calendar with multiple groups?

if I put in a time off request for a medical reason and then my manager puts it on an Outlook calendar with multiple groups of employees out with the reason for post-op recovery, is that breaking any laws?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 27, 2023

Disclosing medical information without consent may be a breach of privacy. Laws such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) govern how medical information can be shared but usually apply to healthcare providers, not employers. However, there may be state laws or company... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Is there anything that can be done if you find out you are being paid under your HR job pay scale?

I submitted my request for my job pay scale and found I was below the minimum. When I escalated it up, I was told they have no time frame to increase. Do I have any case or just cut my losses and leave?

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson
answered on Sep 26, 2023

There may not be any legal recourse, but if you are a member of a protected class, including race, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, it may be worth questioning why you are paid less than the published pay scale. If you have suspicions, consult with an... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Is there anything that can be done if you find out you are being paid under your HR job pay scale?

I submitted my request for my job pay scale and found I was below the minimum. When I escalated it up, I was told they have no time frame to increase. Do I have any case or just cut my losses and leave?

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Sep 18, 2023

Pay scales are not mandatory from a legal standpoint. While I would think that an employer would not want to have folks being paid less than whatever pay scale they have set for a position, there is no legal basis to force the issue that I am aware of in the state of Missouri.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: I am a city employee. A citizen is making accusations against me.

The citizen said that she has pictures of me coming home during the day. I do at lunch but that is all. The mayor is unable to produce the pictures

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 13, 2023

First, review your work schedule and ensure that your actions are in line with your employment policies. If you have a designated lunch break, using it appropriately is important.

Document your daily activities, including your lunch breaks and any work-related trips. This documentation can...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Can my employer take away PTO for not reporting absences of subordinates?

My employer is mandating that people come into the office Mon/Wed. Supervisors who don't report absences are subject to that day being considered a PTO day as well as being considered a PTO day for the subordinate above the original.

Is this legal in St. Louis, MO?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 28, 2023

In many states, employers have the discretion to set policies regarding the use of paid time off (PTO) and how it's managed. If your employer has a policy in place that requires supervisors to report absences of subordinates and penalizes them with PTO for not doing so, it may be within their... View More

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Q: I informed employer of surgery needed and less than a month later. Is this a case of wrongful termination?

when being layed off I asked if my health insurance will still be active and I received a verbal yes same day I was informed of being laid off. I never received any emails or letters in the mail or phone calls to inform me my insurance was being discontinued. Ended up following up with doctors and... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Aug 25, 2023

If you chose to continue your health insurance coverage under COBRA and timely paid your premiums, your claim would be for breach of contract against your health insurance company, the contract being the health insurance policy.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Missouri on
Q: I work in Missouri- and "At Will" state. My employer doesn't have an attendance policy. Can I be fired for attendance?

I have had to miss work because of a serious medical condition. My boss said it was okay, and then weeks later expressed concern about my attendance. I've never been given any warnings, and my boss said there is no attendance policy in place. Can I be fired for attendance under these circumstances?

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Aug 24, 2023

You answered your own question when you acknowledged that Missouri is an at-will employment state. At-will employees may be discharged at any time for any reason or no reason at all.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: I have a non-compete in Missouri. Can I go and work for a competitor, in a different position if I don't divulge info?

I have a non-compete that was signed in 2019. It is for a period of two years after I leave the company. I am currently considering a move to a much smaller company in the same industry. I will not be in the same position I am now and I will not be sharing any information about my current... View More

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Aug 23, 2023

No attorney can possibly provide any meaningful information regarding a non-compete - or any contract for that matter - without reading it in its entirety. Whether or not the position you are considering would violate the terms of the non-compete is very fact-specific. What I can tell you is that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Missouri on
Q: Can I receive unemployment benefits while on unpaid fmla but can physically work?

I did talk to unemployment when I started to file and they said if I physically could not work I would not qualify but if I physically could then I would qualify but I think my work is trying to fight it now since I asked for an exemption so I don't have to look for a job while on leave.

Robert Grant Pennell
Robert Grant Pennell
answered on Aug 13, 2023

You are not entitled to unemployment benefits while on FMLA. The reason being, that you are not unemployed - you are still attached with your employer. Whoever you spoke with at the Missouri Division of Employment Security was wrong or didn’t fully grasp what you were asking.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Civil Rights and Social Security for Missouri on
Q: I'm disabled and was employed for a year and a half. Had to get a new prosthetic now don't have my job. What should I do

The new prosthetic was going to take about 4 weeks to get and my manager was informed. I just recently told him I would be able to come back next week and he has hired other people. I'm not on disability any longer and this job was very helpful with me working and being disabled. Can I file... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Aug 6, 2023

Losing your job due to the need for a prosthetic could raise legal issues related to disability discrimination. You may also be eligible to file for unemployment benefits, and I recommend consulting with an attorney to evaluate the specific details of your situation to ensure all your rights are... View More

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