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Schaumburg Employment Law Blog

Discrimination and Holiday Bonuses in Illinois - What You Should Know

Even though workplace discrimination is disappearing in the U.S., many people must still contend with its sting. You may be afraid to come forward because of a stubborn manager, but the good news is you can assert your legal rights without fear of getting fired from your job. Even though Illinois has strict wage and hour laws, certain rules protect a worker's right to pay, hours worked and holiday bonuses - irrespective of their gender, health status, religion, or ethnicity. However, before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand the following facts.

Filling a Whistleblower Termination and Retaliatory Claims

A whistleblower is an individual who either anonymously, or in-person, brings forward confidential information that might cause harm to public or customers. The act of whistleblowing is largely protected in Illinois under the Illinois Whistleblower Act providing employees with protection against wrongful termination and harassment.

Filling Disability Discrimination Claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Due to unfortunate events and accidents, individuals might undergo temporary or permanent disability. It may lead them to an inability to perform certain tasks, making it difficult for employees to rejoin their previous position or job. Disability discrimination occurs when an employee is not provided the opportunity to rejoin the workplace with the same dignity and job, or an employer refuses to provide an employee with an environment that allows for normal work. It is strictly prohibited under both the Illinois Human Rights Act and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines.

Reasons for Wrongful Termination

Being wrongfully terminated can be more painful than losing a job due to a recession. The wrong termination can happen due to dissemination, refusing to be part of a criminal offense, acting as a whistleblower, or when an employee adheres to public policy. In all cases, an employee receives protection and they should file a charge against their employer, seek damages, or even be reinstatement to their old or a better position. The following are some reasons that should be carefully assessed before a charge for wrongful termination is filled with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Proving A Retaliatory Discharge

Retaliatory discharge of an employee without legitimate grounds to dismiss is a form of wrongful termination. An employer may act in retaliatory discharge due to revenge when an employee refuses to carry out a task that is either illegal or may go against general norms of the workplace. According to the Illinois Workers Compensation Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act, it is unlawful for an employer to engage in retaliatory discharge if an employee is exercising their legal rights. Retaliatory discharge is unlawful when an employee commits to following:

Federal Employee Discrimination

Employment discrimination is as prevalent in the public sector as it is in the private sector. To ensure federal employees and private citizens are not subject to employment discrimination by federal agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) strives hard to enforce federal laws and provide for a robust discrimination reporting process.

Navigating Employment Discrimination

Even in 2019, employment discrimination is a subject of concern across many workplaces in the country. The issue of minimum wage, hiring people of certain race or ethnicity, forcefully asking employees to work under hostile environment or refusing to promote individuals because of personal enmity are some examples of employment discrimination. In such conditions, knowing your rights can help you overcome discrimination at the workplace and provide for a safe working environment.

How Does At-Will Employment Apply to Wrongful Termination?

At-will employment rule is a law in Illinois which indicates an employer can fire any employee for any given reason at any given time. However, if an employee is terminated for illegal reasons such as retaliation and discrimination, such termination will be considered as wrongful. By law, wrongful termination of an employee is a violation of their state and federal rights. Firing an employee based on gender, religious, sexual orientation and ethnicity will not be considered as at-will employment and it will instead be considered as wrongful termination.

Top FMLA Qualifying Events

If your organization is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, eligible employees can avail up to 12 weeks of job-protected, but unpaid leave under an FMLA qualifying event. There are different FMLA qualifying events, which make an employee eligible for leaves.

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