scales of justice logo The Law Office of Melvin D. Kennedy
∗ Attorney ∗ Mediator ∗ Arbitrator

Are you experiencing discrimination or harassment at your workplace?

Discrimination cases can be complex and are always time sensitive, so it is essential to speak to an experienced employment discrimination lawyer immediately. Call: 314-561-3241 or submit your case information here.

Areas of Practice

Employment Discrimination

Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, federal and state governments have enacted a number of laws that bar an employer from discriminating against employees on almost any grounds, aside from the quality of the employee's work or the nature of his or her personality.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer with fifteen or more employees from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, gender, or religion.


The laws enforced by EEOC makes it unlawful for Federal agencies to discriminate against employees and job applicants on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age.

Age Discrimination

You were qualified for the position, promotion or advancement opportunity that you sought, but you were not selected. Maybe you were told that the company is moving in a different direction, or looking for young blood or new ideas. Maybe your questions about why you were not selected went unanswered. There may be a legitimate non-discriminatory reason why you were not selected, but if you are age 40 or older both federal and state law protect you from discrimination because of your age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and The Missouri Human Rights Act make it unlawful to discriminate against a person 40 years of age, or older, in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment. If you are 40 years of age, or older, and believe that you have been the victim of discriminatory acts or employment decisions based upon your age contact Melvin D. Kennedy today.

Disability Discrimination

Many employees overcome physical and mental disabilities that would otherwise interfere with their ability to perform their jobs, without seeking an accommodation or disclosing to anyone the physical or mental challenge he or she overcame. Sometimes, however, employees with disabilities require that an accommodation be made by the employer to allow them to perform their jobs.

Both federal and state laws require employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ physical and mental disabilities when the accommodation can be done without undue hardship to the employer. Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees (or applicants) in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment because of the person’s disability.

Gender/Sex Discrimination

Are you paid less, criticized more frequently or harshly, assigned less desirable work, or promoted less frequently than your co-workers of the opposite sex? Maybe you applied for a job or were in line for a promotion and the job or promotion went to someone of the opposite sex. You were qualified for the position and interviewed well. You believe that you did not get selected because of your sex.

Federal and state laws protect you from discrimination at your job because of your sex. Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees (or applicants) in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment based upon the person’s gender.

National Origin Discrimination

You have been subjected to tasteless jokes and off-color comments regarding your nationality. You are treated differently than others who do not share your ethnicity or nation of origin. Your employer may have even instituted an English only rule for workplace conversations. You may shrug off such actions as insensitive or ignorant, but they may also be unlawful.

Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees (or applicants) in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment based upon the person’s national origin.

Religious Discrimination

You have asked for and been denied prayer time at work. You have made it clear that you cannot work on the Sabbath, but your requests to have time off for worship are ignored. You have been asked to cut your hair, shave your beard, or remove your Hijab or other religious headwear. To comply with these requests would be in contravention of the teachings of you religion and of your own religious beliefs.

Your employer has an obligation to reasonably accommodate your sincerely held religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment based upon the person’s religion.

Race Discrimination

You did not get hired and you were clearly qualified for the position. Everything sounded great over the phone and you were invited in for an interview. Your resume’ is impressive and your qualifications are precisely what is called for in the job description. Yet, you were not hired. Afterwards, the employer continues to seek candidates with the same qualifications that you have or the employer hires someone else – someone of a different race than you.

Maybe the employer had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for not selecting you – maybe not. Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees (or applicants) in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment based upon the person’s race.


Sexual Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees by subjecting them to unwelcome sexual advances, comments or conduct in the workplace.

If you are female or male and believe that you have been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, sexual comments or conduct, or have been subjected to a verbally or physically hostile work environment and you believe that one or more of these things have happened to you because of your gender, you may have been subjected to unlawful sexual harassment.

Racial Harassment

Racially harassing conduct includes the use a racial epithets, racial jokes, negative comments about physical characteristics related to a person’s race, negative comments about cultural norms associated with a person’s race and subjecting anyone to a verbally or physically hostile work environment because of his or her race.

Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Missouri Human Right Act make it unlawful to discriminate against employees (or applicants) in hiring, promotion, lay-off, termination or other terms or conditions of employment because of the person’s race.

Retaliation

Reporting discrimination in the workplace takes a tremendous amount of courage. Will you be regarded as not being a team player, ostracized or passed over for the promotion you worked so hard to earn, or even terminated?

Federal and state employment discrimination laws make it unlawful for an employer, or prospective employer, to discriminate against you because you have complained about discriminatory treatment you have experienced or witnessed. The law regards such action by an employer as unlawful retaliation.

Family Medical Leave

Do you need time away from work to give birth and/or care for your newborn or adopted child? Do you need time away from work because of a serious health condition, either your own or that of your child, spouse or parent?

If you have worked for your employer for at least one (1) year and your employer employs at least fifty (50) employees, you may be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA requires employers to provide up to twelve (12) weeks unpaid, job protected leave with continuation of group health insurance coverage for qualifying employees.

Alternate Dispute Resolution

When you don’t want to go to court to resolve a dispute, then you should consider Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). Two of the more popular forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration. They are very different, and each has different strengths and weaknesses. Which is right for you?


If you are ready to take control of the resolution of your dispute, contact Melvin D. Kennedy for more information about ADR.


Arbitration & mediation are similar in that they are alternatives to traditional litigation...
 Read more at FindLaw

Mediation

Litigation is fraught with uncertainty. How long will it take to get to trial? Will you get a sympathetic jury? How will the Judge rule on crucial evidence? Will the other side appeal and how long will the appeal process take?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows the parties to take control of the resolution of their dispute, rather than place the decision in the hands of the Judge or jury.

Melvin Kennedy is an experienced mediator and is available to help you take control of resolving your legal dispute. Mr. Kennedy is certified to mediate lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and he has mediated the resolution of numerous charges of discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows you to select the arbitrator who will hear your case. Arbitration is in some respects similar to a trial, but there are significant differences. For instance, there is no jury and the parties agree in advance to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. Also, scheduling your case to be heard by the arbitrator can generally be accomplished much sooner than trial scheduling because you are not competing for position on a busy court docket.

Mr. Kennedy is certified as an arbitrator by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB). BBB arbitrators hear cases involving disputes between vehicle owners and automobile manufacturers. Resolution of these disputes range from repair of the owner’s vehicle to replacement or repurchase of the vehicle by the manufacturer.