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The Many Forms of Employer Retaliation

Oct. 27, 2020

The Whistle Blower Act in Illinois protects employees who reveal illegal acts their employers are involved in to the law or the government. This can lead to retaliatory action from their employee. In Illinois or in any U.S. state, employers are retaliating if they try and punish an employee for engaging in a protected activity or to prevent them from speaking out. Common acts of retaliation include the following:

  • Terminating the employment of an employee who has been injured on the job and files a claim

  • Retaliating against an employee who files a worker compensation claim

  • Demoting an employee or offering him/her a lower status job or a lower paying position in the company despite their experience. This includes overlooking injured workers for promotions because of their physical state, even though they are qualified for the job

  • Refusing to hire an employee who returns to work after recovering from an injury

  • Compromising your performance review for no reason after you place an injury claim

  • Undeserved disciplinary action against an employee for no reason or as a retaliatory action because they filed a claim.

  • Providing poor employment references that can affect a qualified and skilled employee’s future job prospects. If this is done in retaliation for a worker’s compensation claim being filed, the employee is eligible for compensation in most cases

Protected Activities

According to Illinois and federal laws, employees that proceed with the following actions cannot be retaliated against:

  • Discussing issues with their manager regarding workplace discrimination such as sexual harassment

  • Refusal to follow instructions that can lead to discrimination

  • Filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

  • Filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHDR)

  • Taking part in an investigation regarding discrimination or harassment in the workplace

  • Asking for reasonable accommodation for a disability or any religious practice

Employees who make specific complaints or requests about an employer can receive the maximum protection the law offers. For example, if you see someone being sexually harassed or are the victim yourself, you have to specify in the complaint that you are being sexually harassed.

If you are in such a situation or know someone who is being treated unfairly by employers, get in touch with our attorneys at the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today. We have helped hundreds of clients such as yourself get the compensation that they deserve and brought unfair employers to justice in Schaumburg, IL.