Most employment in Missouri considered to be "at-will". This means that either the employer or employee can terminate the employment at any given moment, and for any reason. In "at will" employment, the only general exception is that the reasons for termination must not be illegal or in violation of the law.
Employment arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is important that you know how your work setup is classified. Arrangements for employment that are under a set term contract are not "at will", and may only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Missouri?
The most common illegal ground for terminating a Missouri employee is discrimination. An employer cannot terminate an employee simply for being of a specific race, nationality, religion or gender. A Columbia employer also is prohibited from terminating at-will employees as a method of retaliation if the worker has sought an investigation into discrimination or has filed a legal claim for discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Finally, employers may not fire workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a Missouri Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
In Columbia, Missouri, a lawyer will be able to notify you about whether you are a victim of wrongful termination, and they will be able to guide you in collecting the necessary documents. Sometimes there can be procedures that are unique, and a lawyer can guide you in these as well.