Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC | attorneys at law

2 reasons you cannot terminate an employee

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | Business & Commercial Law

Running your own company comes with numerous challenges. You not only have to think about yourself and the profitability of the firm, but you’ll have to manage a team of employees. 

Missouri is an at-will employment state. Essentially, this means that employers can terminate workers at any time. Additionally, it means that employees can typically leave without offering notice. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions. You cannot terminate employees based on the following reasons:

For being involved in a workers’ comp claim 

The safety of your workers is your number one priority. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to prevent work-related accidents. Workers are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim if they have been injured on the job. There are some occasions where workers will make these claims fraudulently. Nonetheless, you must be able to prove fraudulent activity before taking disciplinary action. During the investigation process, a worker cannot be terminated for either making a claim or testifying in the claim of a colleague whether or not the claim is fraudulent. 

During wage disputes 

In Missouri, the minimum wage is $12 per hour. Occasionally, administrative errors lead to underpayments. An employee has every right to question their wages if they feel that they have been underpaid. Wage and hour claims can be tricky to handle, but it’s important to keep your cool and investigate the circumstances carefully before acting. 

You do have a right to discipline employees who are not behaving appropriately, but it’s vital that you go through the correct legal channels. For any employment issue, it will benefit you greatly to have experienced guidance on your side.