The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination, and those who believe they are the victims of this wrongful behavior may seek recourse through the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. However, an unpleasant work environment is not necessarily discriminatory.
These are signs that workplace discrimination may be happening to you.
You are the target of offensive jokes
Interpersonal conflicts and personality clashes can happen in any workplace and may involve acrimonious verbal exchanges. However, harsh words and yelling do not constitute discrimination unless they directly assault your status as a member of a class of workers qualifying for discrimination protection. For example, you may have a valid discrimination claim if your coworker repeatedly makes offensive jokes about your disability or your boss refuses to honor your doctor’s recommendation that you avoid heavy lifting while pregnant but accommodates the same request from a coworker who claims to have a weak back.
You have the lowest salary
Missouri’s payroll transparency and equality laws require employers to publicize salaries and offer equal pay to all employees with comparable skills performing the same jobs. Therefore, discrimination may be the basis for your lower compensation if you are the oldest person or the only woman in a particular role despite meeting or exceeding expectations.
Your employer fires you for a minor offense
Many states support at-will employment that does not require companies to have reasons for terminating their employees. However, this practice does mean sanctioning discrimination. For example, suppose your employer turns a blind eye to younger colleagues who repeatedly show up late for work but your first lateness results in on-the-spot termination. In that case, you may be a victim of age discrimination.
Employees who understand their workplace rights are instrumental in ensuring employer accountability for violations.