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Missouri & Illinois Employment Lawyers

When you sign an employment contract, you make an agreement with your employer. You agree to perform specific duties in return for compensation. But employment contracts are often quite dense in Missouri and Illinois.

When you look at a contract like this, it might seem like all the power is in the hands of your employer. However, that isn’t the case. State and federal laws give workers rights that employers can’t violate. 

If you feel that your rights have been violated by your workplace, a labor law attorney serving Missouri and Illinois from Cook, Bartholomew, Cook & Jones, LLP may be able to help.

How an Employer Can Violate Your Rights

Employment and labor law is a complicated topic. There are several ways that your employer can potentially violate your rights. Our employment law attorneys have experience handling all of the following types of employment law violations:

Employment Discrimination

Under federal law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Veteran status

This means that an employer can’t use those factors for hiring, termination, compensation, or promotion decisions. If you believe your employer is engaging in any type of workplace discrimination, you should immediately contact our employment lawyers.

Wrongful Termination

Employers can fire you for almost any reason. However, there are still limits. Perhaps the most common example of wrongful termination involves discrimination. 

But an employer can also illegally fire someone when that termination is used to avoid fulfilling contractual obligations. For example, if you are owed a large bonus at the end of the year, it would usually be illegal to fire you just before the end of December.

Similarly, the U.S. Department of Labor protects the rights of whistle-blowing employees. If you report some type of illegal activity to authorities — including the wrongful termination of another — your employer can’t retaliate against you. If an employer does retaliate, you may have recourse in the form of a wrongful termination claim against the company.

Violations of Employee Benefit Plans and Other Wage Rights Issues

The employment contract dictates the responsibilities of the employer and the employee. When the employer breaks that contract, the employee has the right to file a lawsuit against the employer.

One common breach of contract involves violations of employee benefits plans. This can happen when an employer:

  • Refuses to let their employee take vacation days
  • Doesn’t pay for benefits or retirement plans as promised
  • Doesn’t pay required overtime
  • Treats work time as unpaid time

Part of the reason you agreed to take a job is because you were offered specific compensation, including employee benefits. If, for example, your contract guarantees that you can work from home, your employer would be illegally violating the contract if they forced you to come into the office every day.

Violations of a Labor Union Contract

Labor unions are present in many workplaces. If you are a member of a labor union, that means your union has negotiated a contract with the employer that applies to every member of the union. However, sometimes, this contract isn’t respected.

Your employer can’t discriminate against you just for being a member of a labor union. Additionally, anything in the labor union contract holds just as strongly as an employment contract would if you weren’t in a union.

Conversely, it is also possible for a union to violate your rights. The union is required to fulfill all the obligations it has in the contract with you. If you believe it isn’t treating you fairly, a workplace law lawyer from Cook, Bartholomew, Cook & Jones, LLP may be able to help you defend your rights.

How an Employment Law Attorney Can Help

At Cook, Bartholomew, Cook & Jones, LLP, we have extensive knowledge of state and federal worker protection laws and are highly experienced with contract law. This means we can quickly determine what your rights are — in any situation.

During your initial employment law case consultation, we can determine whether your rights are being violated and what remedies are available. We understand that many clients would prefer to have the situation resolved and continue working. If that is possible, we can take the right steps to help you preserve your job.

Regardless of the option you choose, we can fight for your rights throughout the entire legal process. You deserve to be treated fairly by your employer, and if you aren’t being treated fairly, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the harm to your reputation and ability to work.

Consult With a Trusted Employment Law Lawyer Today

If you believe your rights are being violated by your employer in Missouri or Illinois, you deserve qualified legal support. Employment law attorneys from Cook, Bartholomew, Cook & Jones, LLP can help you safeguard your rights and secure the compensation you need to move forward. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced labor law lawyer.