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FAQs about Retaliatory Discharge in Illinois

If you have been fired recently or treated unfairly at your workplace for asserting protected rights, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer for retaliatory discharge. You may be confused and have several questions about your situation. Here we have answered some of the most common questions clients ask to our employment law attorney regarding retaliatory discharge:

Q: If my employer retaliates against me, what protection do I have?

A: Several federal and state laws prohibit employers from engaging in a retaliatory activity for doing something that is protected by law. You can report your employer's retaliation to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) by yourself or with the help of an attorney within the statutes of limitation.

Q: What do I need to prove that my employer retaliated against me?

A: To prove a retaliation claim, you must be able to show that:

  • You were engaged in a protected activity
  • Your employer has taken an adverse action to punish you
  • The adverse action was taken because of your participation in the protected activity

If you can prove all these things in court, you may be able to win the retaliation claim and receive compensation for your damages.

Q: What damages can I receive compensation for if I win the retaliatory discharge claim?

A: You may recover the following damages from the retaliatory discharge claim:

  • Punitive damages
  • Future wages
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Back pay
  • Attorney's fees

Q: What are some examples of retaliation by an employer?

A: Some examples of activities considered as retaliation by the EEOC are:

  • The employer engaged in physical or verbal abuse
  • The employer reprimanded the employee
  • The employer gave an unfair performance evaluation that was unjustified
  • The employer shifted the employee to a different, less desirable position/department
  • The employer increased scrutiny
  • The employer made the work difficult for the employee
  • The employer threatened the employee that they will be fired or actually fired them

Q: What are the time limitations for filing a retaliatory discharge claim in Illinois?

A: In Illinois, you have 5 years to file a lawsuit for retaliation against your employer. The time starts from the day of the retaliatory action. However, if you are considering filing a complaint to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), you will have only 180 days from the day of the retaliatory action.

Q: Should I consult with an attorney if I am fired for exercising my rights or engaging in a protected activity?

A: Yes. Working with an experienced attorney can dramatically increase your chances of winning the retaliatory discharge claim against your employer. They are well-versed in state and federal laws and know how the legal system works. They will guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and strive to get the most favorable outcome for your case.

Talk to an experienced Roselle wrongful termination attorney to discuss your case and know how you can protect yourself from the retaliation of your employer. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today at 847.895.0626 for a consultation.

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