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Does Missouri Workers Compensation Cover Sexual Harassment?


Sexual harassment is not covered under the MO work comp laws but there are other ways to receive compensation.

Sexual harassment is not covered under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law. According to the law, this form of compensation is only applicable if you sustain an injury or get sick “in the course and scope of your employment.”

Sexual harassment isn’t on the list of injuries. But, there are other ways for you to receive compensation in case of sexual harassment.

Workers Comp Lawyer St Louis

What Does the Law Say?

According to the Missouri Human Rights Act, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination, based on sexually-charged behavior. Any unwelcome sexual advances, sexual favor request, verbal or nonverbal conduct that are sexual in nature can constitute sexual harassment under three instances:

  1. Feeling forced to submit to this conduct out of fear of losing employment
  2. Feeling pressured to submit to this conduct out of fear of not advancing professionally
  3. Feeling you are working in a hostile environment as a result of this conduct

In other words, Missouri law considers you’ve been sexually harassed if you work in an environment where there is sexually-charged behavior, and not complying with that behavior would mean getting fired, not getting a promotion, or creating an abusive work environment.

What Can You Do?

Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace can file an official complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, either for the institution to investigate the allegations or to sue the defendant in court.

Make sure to file your sexual harassment complaint within 180 days of the event. According to federal law, you have 300 days to file a complaint with the EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Know that if you want to sue the party responsible for the harassment, the commissions will stop their internal investigation and the case will be tried in a civil court. However, remember you must still file a complaint with the commission first, and then request a Notice of Right to Sue.

Speak with a St. Louis Work Related Injury Lawyer

A worker who suffers an injury in the course and scope of employment at the workplace is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Seek legal guidance from a St. Louis work related injury lawyer. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation or fill out our online case evaluation form.

Updated: March 20, 2020
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