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How to Prove Retaliatory Discharge

Aug. 17, 2022

If your employer fired you because you made a complaint about them or reported them to the authorities for a wrongdoing, you could sue them for retaliatory discharge (aka wrongful termination). The wrongdoing can range from sexual harassment in the workplace to religious discrimination complaints per the Illinois Fair Housing Act (FEHA). 

Most of these cases occur after an injured worker files a workers’ compensation claim. In any case, retaliatory discharge is illegal in Illinois. Your employer will be liable for your lost wages, benefits, emotional distress, and more.

An experienced Schaumburg retaliatory discharge attorney can prove invaluable during this time. Make sure you have sufficient evidence to prove your case, but before that, make sure your case is worth pursuing.  

What Retaliatory Discharge Looks Like 

Most retaliatory discharge cases look something like this:

  • You complained about your supervisor or a colleague, and your employer found out.

  • You were asked to do something outside the scope of your work, and you declined, only to be fired.

  • Your employer starts to treat you differently, demotes you, cuts your hours or your salary or does anything else to force you to quit.

  • You were fired without knowing the reason behind it. 

Top Evidence That Can Prove Retaliatory Discharge 

A Schaumburg retaliatory discharge attorney will evaluate all of the elements of your case and the damages it caused. To prove it, you need to provide evidence for the following:

  • You experienced discrimination in the workplace.

  • You witnessed discrimination in the workplace.

  • You were discharged while engaged in a protected activity.

  • Your employer acted adversely because of your choice.

  • You suffered damages because of your employer’s adverse response. 

Contrary to popular belief, retaliation and discrimination/harassment are different. For the former, you don’t have to prove that you were harassed or discriminated against as long as you believe you experienced retaliatory discharge.

Make sure that you give your Schaumburg retaliatory discharge attorney ample evidence. This includes documents, offensive messages, and visuals that can prove your case. Also, ensure you provide the full name, job title, and designation of witnesses and the employer.

Besides this, provide proof that you complained about the harassment or discrimination incident (such as emails, letters, memos, notes, etc.). Even if you don’t have these, you can still have a solid case if you can prove you filed a complaint and were discharged shortly after because of it. 

This is important because your lawyer must prove that you suffered a loss in a retaliatory case. In your case, this can include loss of benefits, job opportunities (if your employer refused to give you a referral), and wages. If you also lost healthcare benefits, give those documents to the lawyer. 

Contact The Law Office Of Michael Smith For A Consultation Today!

You should be able to work each day without fear of harassment, bullying, or being fired. If you believe your employer fired you or forced you to quit because of a complaint you made or any other reason, you can and should sue.

Contact a Schaumburg retaliatory discharge attorney at the Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates for a consultation today. We have years of experience representing victims like you get the compensation or outcome they deserve. You will be the key witness, but we will do everything possible to reduce your stress and burden.