The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that carefully guards employees against any forms of discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, the EEOC strictly prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees on the basis of their national origin, sex, race, color, religion, age, genetic information, or disability. If employers are found guilty of violating the EEOC's mandates, they can face serious penalties.
Invalid Reasons To Fire Someone
When most people think about the EEOC's regulations, they think about the hiring process. However, discrimination can happen when terminating employment just as easily as it can happen when hiring. Here is a quick look at some of illegal reasons to fire someone.
1. Complaining and/or Retaliation
Sometimes, your employees may complain if they feel that the rights granted to them by the EEOC are being violated or that their workplace conditions do not meet the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)'s standards. As an employer, you have a responsibility for making sure these regulations are met. You cannot lawfully fire your employees for making any of these complaints.
Just as it is illegal to not hire someone based on their sex, gender, race, religion, etc, it is illegal to fire someone for any of these same reasons. Some modern companies may pride themselves on having a young staff, for example, but they cannot legally terminate an aging employee. As another example, employers are not allowed to fire a pregnant employee or any employee who may be experiencing medical challenges associated with pregnancy or childbirth.
3. Workers' Compensation Claims
As an employer, you are legally obligated to create a safe work environment for your employees. If one of your team is injured on the job, you may have a legal responsibility to ensure that he receives access to the healthcare they need. You are not allowed to fire someone (or discriminate against them in any way) for filing a workers' compensation claim.
4. Violation of Public Policy
"Public policy" is a general term that refers to the unspoken rules of conduct governing our society. You cannot legally fire an employee for violating this public policy. For example, you cannot fire an employee for refusing to participate in any illegal conduct or for reporting any illegal act you may have committed.
Questions? Contact Our Business Attorney!
Firing employees can be a tough situation. Both for your sake and your company's, it is important that you make sure you are not violating any termination laws. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced business lawyer in Camden County, Missouri. We would be happy to assist in any way we can.
Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.
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