Can My Employer Fire Me Over Political Beliefs?
July 12, 2021
Illinois Forbids Employers From Discriminating On The Basis Of Political Views
In Illinois, discrimination based on one’s politics happens when an employer makes job decisions based on an employee’s party affiliations, political beliefs, or civic activities. This can be anything from supporting gun control, running for a local school board, or taking part in a protest.
So, you have every legal right to hire a wrongful termination lawyer in Illinois, if your employer fires you because of your political beliefs. That is considered discrimination, pure and simple.
Additionally, employers cannot maintain records of their employees’ political activities unless the latter submits a written record or allows the former to collect said records. In other words, employers cannot present said records as proof of termination or demotion. In fact, they are not even allowed to discriminate against employees or retaliate for an employee’s off-duty use of lawful products such as social media.
Political Rights, According to Illinois Law
According to Illinois law, political rights include the following activities:
● Campaigning for or against political candidates
● Speaking out on public policies
● Distributing political literature
● Making public speeches
● Making campaign contributions
● Seeking public office
What Employees Can Do
The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace, but not necessarily for political affiliations unless such acts are for one or more of these reasons. The department is not responsible for investigating unfair union practices either or investigating charges against the federal government unless it is for the aforementioned reasons.
However, all is not lost. Employees who believe they are being discriminated against on the basis of their political views and it is also connected with their religion, race, gender, etc., are protected.
For instance, if your boss fires you after discovering you attended a Black Lives Matter rally that was advocating for police reform, he/she may have targeted you on the basis of your race. That is illegal under federal law and thus grounds for a lawsuit.
Similarly, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits employers from taking negative action against employees for union activities. It also protects non-union members who try to get together to improve workplace conditions. Since politics often intersect with these issues, your activities can be protected as per the law. For instance, if you support a senator and his platform for increasing the minimum wage, for example, you might be protected.
If that is the case, you can fill out and submit an Employment Complaint Information Sheet (CIS). If the allegations are covered by the Human Rights Act, a charge will be drafted for your signature. This must be done within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
So, if you think you were fired because of your political beliefs, file a complaint, and hire an Illinois wrongful termination lawyer from the Law Office of Michael T. Smith. You have the right to pursue justice, whether you were discriminated against on the basis of political affiliations, gender, race, or religion. Get in touch with us today so we can fight for the compensation you deserve.