Compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws is one of the keys to running a successful business. Employers have a duty to respect the legal rights of their employees as defined under federal and state law. In a competitive job market, taking steps to create a safe, secure, and supportive work environment is a good business strategy. At the same time, employers must be prepared to deal effectively with the employee conflicts that will inevitably occur in any workplace.
The labor and employment attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law have provided guidance and representation to employers, both large and small, in Missouri and Illinois. We can help create and implement proactive employee strategies to help with such things as onboarding personnel and establishing compliant company workplace policies. We will also safeguard your legal rights and options when you are facing litigation regarding labor disputes, compensation, or liability issues.
In addition, we can help establish a compensation and bonus plans that is most advantageous to the needs and goals of your company. Our experience also includes representing large and small businesses during strikes, arbitration, and collective bargaining negotiations.
Beckemeier LeMoine Law encourages our St. Louis business owner clients to institute transparent, compliant company policies and provide employee education and training that reinforces those policies. A comprehensive plan, communicated effectively, ensures that expectations and responsibilities of both the employer and employees are clear.
You can count on the St. Louis labor and employment law attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law to defend your rights and best interests in compliance with the complex federal and state (Missouri and Illinois) regulatory laws regarding workplace conflicts such as:
- Hiring, discipline, and termination
- Charges filed with EEOC, state human rights agencies, and the NLRB
- Employee claims of discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment
- Disability-related issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Leave-related issues under the FMLA, ADA, and state law equivalents
The labor and employment law attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law stay informed regarding changes and updates to labor statutes at the federal, state, and local levels. We have worked with clients from a range of companies—from small businesses to large corporations—so we know how to anticipate and address the employment issues most relevant to you.
Discrimination and Retaliation
One of the cornerstones of US employment law is that employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on a protected class. This includes:
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy status
- Whistleblower status
Discrimination is defined as adverse decisions regarding any aspect of employment, including:
- Failure to hire
- Termination or layoffs
- Job assignments
Employers are also forbidden from taking any retaliatory action against an employee who filed a complaint about discrimination. For instance, a female employee might decide to file a discrimination claim after discovering that her male coworkers with the same job status received higher salaries and got training opportunities for promotions that had been denied to her. No matter what the outcome of her complaint, the employer could face penalties if it took subsequent actions, such as suddenly moving her to a remote location, and the court determined this action was retaliatory.
The line between illegal discriminatory behavior and legitimate workplace decisions is not always clear, either to the employer or employee.
There are also laws that protect employees from various types of harassment, including sexual harassment, at their place of work. Unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature can create a hostile or intimidating work environment, as can demeaning or offensive comments about an employee’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or age. A hostile work environment can have injurious physical, emotional, and psychological effects that make it difficult for an employee to carry out their job responsibilities. Therefore, any kind of harassment in the workplace is illegal.
Sexual harassment includes the following behaviors:
- Suggestive or inappropriately sexual remarks or comments
- Unwelcome touching
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Exposing coworker to offensive or inappropriate sexual language or images
Sexual harassment sometimes involves a power differential, for instance, an employer or supervisor making sexual favors a condition for a promotion or salary increase, but it can also occur between coworkers or even between an employee and company client or vendor. The perpetrators and targets of sexual harassment can be men or women.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees from a hostile work environment. Beckemeier LeMoine Law can advise you about training and procedures you can implement to prevent sexual harassment, and, if a claim of sexual harassment does occur, advise as to what steps you should take to address the situation and provide appropriate prompt remedial action.
Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
Employers often face tough choices when it comes to handling workplace injuries, particularly since Missouri and Illinois have strict laws preventing retaliation against an employee who suffers a workplace injury. Navigating the maze of federal and state leave and disability laws as they intersect with the rights of injured employees requires experienced and trusted counsel. The employment lawyers at Beckemeier LeMoine Law can help you navigate those difficult situations, with the goal being to treat your employees fairly, protect your business, and comply with the law.
Beckemeier LeMoine Law can help you navigate the complexities of setting up legally-sound plans under ERISA and offer counsel for effectively resolving problems, and, if necessary, representation at trial or negotiation with arbitrators and mediators.
We have expertise in the following types of ERISA plans and issues:
- Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
- Nonqualified deferred compensation
- Pension benefit guaranty corporation (PBGC)
- Denial of benefit
- Class-action suits
- Breach of fiduciary duty
At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, our labor and employment attorneys assist business owner clients with establishing programs, policies and procedures tailored to the needs of their business, with the goal of minimizing formal employee complaints. Our skill and knowledge extends to other labor and employment matters such as ERISA litigation, multi-employer pension plans, and government audits.
If you have questions or concerns about federal, state or local employment law, contact one of the St. Louis labor and employment attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law. We have a rich history of experience providing trusted counsel to help our clients solve their legal problems. If you need legal assistance, contact us online or call us at 314-965-2277.