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Protect Yourself Against Wrongful Termination in Illinois

Feb. 19, 2020

Since Illinois is an ‘at will‘ state, your employer can fire you without notice and you can leave employment without notice as well. So how can employment be wrongfully terminated in this case? Simple – if the employer violates certain exceptions to this rule, which besides discrimination, also includes retaliation for certain actions you took to protect yourself in the workplace, violation of a work contract and termination.

You can file a wrongful termination claim in Illinois if you were fired due to your age, race, color, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender or disability. If your employer has dismissed you because of these discriminatory reasons, they must compensate you for damages through funds, by giving you your job back or other types of relief.

Wage and Hour Issues

The most common reasons employers give for firing an employee involves hours worked, but if their reasoning does not comply with state law, they can be held accountable.

In Illinois, you are entitled to at least $8.25 per hour and this includes overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours a week. Plus, you are also entitled 20 minutes for a meal break each day five (5) hours after your shift starts. As per federal law, breaks shorter than this must be paid. Employers who try and violate these hours by forcing employees to work without pay can be held liable.

‘Bad Faith’ Claims

Additionally, employers also cannot fire employees in ‘bad faith.’ According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, this includes terminating an old employee so the employer does not have to pay them retirement benefits or firing a sales representative right before they were about to receive commission for a completed sale. Your employer also cannot fire you if you must jury duty or if you have to file a worker’s compensation claim.

If your employee is threatening to fire you or has terminated your employment in violation of Illinois employment laws, you have every right to get aggressive legal representation. The dedicated attorneys at the Law Office of Michael Smith take their time investigating each guilty employer in Schaumburg, Illinois to ensure victims receive the compensation they deserve. This includes explaining the claims process to clients in intimate detail to ensure they have an airtight case and outlining legal options that can maximize the success of their case.