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Retaliatory Discharge in Missouri

What is a retaliatory discharge claim under Missouri law?

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In Missouri, an employer cannot fire an employee because the employee exercises work comp rights. This right is guaranteed by statute; specifically, by Section 287.780. To establish a claim for retaliatory discharge, the plaintiff must prove four elements. Crabtree v. Bugby. First, the plaintiff was an "employee" of defendant before being fired. Second, the employee must exercise some right granted by the worker's compensation statutes in Missouri. Most commonly, this would be reporting a work comp injury and receiving treatment. Third, the employee is fired. Fourth, the employee proves his or her discharge was motivated by exercising worker's compensation rights. The exercising of rights doesn't have to be the only reason the worker was fired, but without the exercising of rights the worker would not have been fired.