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What You Should Know About Retaliatory Discharge in Illinois

Dec. 14, 2020

Even though Illinois is an at-will state (which means employers have the right to fire employees for a variety of reasons), there are exceptions. One of them is retaliatory discharge i.e. if you were let go as retaliation for exercising your legal rights in the workplace.

If you have a valid claim, you can sue your employer for wrongful termination provided you have an experienced attorney who can analyze your claim and file your lawsuit.

What Is Retaliatory Discharge?

Retaliatory discharge from an employer can take on many forms. It can be against an employee who filed a worker’s compensation claim, requested for legal reimbursement as per medical coverage, and other legal actions. Since these are legal rights, employers who fire employees on their basis may be considered retaliatory.

If an employer lets go of an employee as revenge, due to severe issues (such as letting an employee go who filed a sexual harassment report at work or who exposed an illicit activity in the company to the authorities), they can be sued for damages by the victimized employee. In fact, as an employee, you are also protected if you refuse to carry out a command by a supervisor or employer that you think is illegal or discriminatory in nature.

This can be the case if say your employer tells you to deny service to a client based on their religious proclivities, gender identity, or race. If you are asked to kick out a diner because he only speaks Spanish and cannot relate his order in English, you have the right to fight back if you are fired for refusing.

That’s because you refused to perform a discriminatory act that is protected by law in the state of Illinois and several other states as well.

How to Prove Retaliatory Discharge

If you have been the victim of a retaliatory discharge, you need to prove the following to present a solid case:

  • That you were employed when you were injured (and then let go because of it).

  • That you sought worker’s compensation for it.

  • That you lost your job.

  • That you were let go because you wished to seek worker compensation benefits.

This is where the Law Office of Michael Smith comes in. We can provide you an experienced attorney who will not settle for the bare minimum when it comes to damages you can claim. We are known for our aggressive representation tactics and are not afraid to go head to head with powerful and private employers. Get in touch with us in Schaumburg, IL today.