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2726 S. Brentwood Blvd. St. Louis MO 63144

Missouri Employment Discrimination Law

The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) makes it unlawful for an employer to terminate or take an adverse employment action against an employee because of the worker’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age or disability. An employee may also not be discriminated against in retaliation for asserting particular legal rights. An employee who believes his or her employer has acted in violation of the MHRA must file a charge of discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. Once the employee files a complaint with the Commission, the claim may proceed through the administrative procedures of the Commission or the employee may request a right-to-sue letter from the Commission. Once the Commission issues a right-to-sue letter, the employee has 90 days to file a lawsuit in circuit court.

Jury Trials under the Missouri Human Rights Act

A substantial change in Missouri’s employment discrimination law occurred in 2003 when the Missouri Supreme Court decided Diehl v. O’Malley. In Diehl, the Missouri Supreme Court determined for the first time that a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case has the constitutional right to a jury trial under the MHRA. In Diehl, the plaintiff brought a petition for monetary damages against her employer alleging she was discriminated against on the basis of her age and sex. The plaintiff filed a motion for a jury trial, which the court denied. The Missouri Supreme Court eventually heard the case and determined that a plaintiff making a claim for monetary damages has a constitutional right to trial by jury in Missouri.

The court’s decision in Diehl led to the drafting and subsequent adoption of Missouri Approved Jury Instruction, Section 31.24. This jury instruction requires a verdict for the plaintiff if the jury believes the employee’s protected characteristic of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, disability or retaliation was a "contributing factor" in the employer’s employment decision.

The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley's Victory Before the Missouri Supreme Court:
A Seminal Change in Missouri Employment Law

In 2007, the Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley, LLC argued for and established the current standard for discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act at the summary judgment stage. In the Missouri Supreme Court Case, Daugherty vs. City of Maryland Heights, the Court determined that, in order to survive summary judgment, the plaintiff must demonstrate that a genuine issue of fact exists as to whether the alleged discrimination was a "contributing factor" in the decision to terminate the plaintiff's employment.

The Contributing Factor Standard in Missouri

In employment discrimination cases in Missouri, juries are asked to determine whether a contributing factor in the employment decision of the employer was unlawful discrimination. To effectively prosecute or defend such a claim, experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel is required. The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley was the leader and innovator in establishing this very standard.

Contact our Labor and Employment Law Firm

To set up a consultation, please contact Mr. Dolley at (314)645-4100 or by email at kevin@dolleylaw.com. All legal consultations are held strictly confidential.

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The Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley represents clients in labor law, employment law and employment discrimination matters throughout the State of Missouri, including St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Boone County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, Jackson County, Phelps County, Franklin County, Ste. Genevieve, St. Clair and the Cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Charles, O'Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Hillsboro, Troy, Clayton, Rolla, Columbia, Jefferson City, Kirksville, Farmington, Cuba, Augusta, Union, Maryland Heights, Cape Girardeau and Springfield.

Law Offices of Kevin J. Dolley, LLC - Missouri Employment Lawyer
Located at 2726 South Brentwood Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63144. View Map
Phone: (314) 684-8180 | Local Phone: (314) 645-4100.