If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, you probably have many questions regarding potential legal action and how to make a claim against your employer. We have prepared a list of common questions and answers which may apply generally to employees that have wrongful termination claims.
Can I be legally terminated for being late to work?
Yes. Illinois is an “at-will employment” state which means an employer can terminate an employee for any lawful reason. An employer cannot, however, terminate an employee for an unlawful reason such as discrimination based on a protected characteristic, retaliation for reporting or refusing to engage in unlawful activity, and some other reasons protected by statute or public policy.
If I am in a union, can I sue for wrongful termination?
It depends on your union agreement. Usually, you must exhaust the procedures laid out in a union agreement before you can take any legal action. In most cases where a union is involved, it is best to contact an experienced Chicago employment attorney to advise you during the claims process.
Does my employer have to give me a reason before firing me?
No. As an “at-will employment” state, Illinois employers are not required to give a reason for terminating an employee.
If I was sick and had to take a leave of absence, is it wrong for me to be fired?
Employees who require a legitimate leave of absence as a result of illness or injury have certain rights and protections under The Americans With Disabilities Act , Family Medical Leave Act , and The Illinois Human Rights Act.
I refused my boss’ advances and was fired. Is this illegal?
Yes. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance (such as a request for sexual favors or other conduct of a sexual nature), and it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee for not submitting to their improper advances. When an employer insinuates that you must submit to their advances or else face termination, contact an employment attorney without delay.
Can I be terminated if I have a contract with my employer?
If a contract exists between yourself and your employer and you are found to have breached the terms of the contract, you may be fired for it. Certain contracts may protect you from immediate retaliation, and you should familiarize yourself with the terms of your employment before attempting to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit.
If my employer violates terms listed in the employee handbook by firing me, can I hold them responsible?
Because Illinois is an “at-will employment” state, an employer can change their employment policies at any time or, in some cases, disregard them altogether. However, things can become murky if a signed employee handbook creates an implied contract between the employee and their employer. In these cases, it may be best to present a copy of your employee handbook to your legal team in order to determine if a breach in employer policy constitutes as wrongful termination.
What should I do if I believe to have been wrongfully terminated?
The most important step you can take to ensure your rights are protected if you believe yourself to have been wrongfully terminated is to consult with an employment law attorney immediately. The Wood Law Office, LLC is prepared to investigate every aspect of your case and take any necessary action against your employer.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Employment Law Attorney
Wrongful termination may seem like a headache to those unfamiliar with Illinois employment law, but by providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from current and prospective clients, we hope to have provided a level of insight into how the process works.
We are committed to representing you effectively to help you achieve the results you want—and the justice you may need. If you don’t see an answer to your question on this page, or wish to discuss your case with an experienced Illinois employment law attorney, do not hesitate to contact The Wood Law Office, LLC today.