If an employee puts in a workers’ comp claim or complains of discrimination at their workplace, a responsible employer follows legal protocol and handles the matter fairly. Unfortunately, not all employers do so. If you have lost your job as a form of punishment unrelated to your work performance, you may well have suffered a retaliatory discharge (wrongful termination) and be entitled to sue for damages. If you work in the Chicago area, this is the time to contact FMCO Law, for the powerful legal representation you need and deserve.
But Isn’t Illinois An Employment ‘At-Will’ State?
Although Illinois is an “at-will” state when it comes to employment, meaning that an employee can be terminated “for any reason or for no reason at all,” there are a number of significant exceptions to this law:
- Being discharged for discriminatory reasons
- Being discharged as retaliation for whistleblowing, a protected action
- Being discharged for taking legally protected time off
- Being discharged for engaging in a wage and hour dispute
It is also illegal to be terminated if you are working under a contract unless it can be proved that you violated its terms.
Examples Of Retaliatory Discharge
Being terminated for any of the following reasons is illegal. If you have experienced a retaliatory discharge like any of those listed below, FMCO Law, will work tirelessly to bring you the compensation you need to stay on track with your career:
1. Retaliation For A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Any employee who suffers an injury at the workplace or an illness caused by the workplace environment is entitled to apply for workers’ comp benefits. If your employer has fired you or laid you off shortly after you filed a workers’ comp claim or threatened you with termination after you testified in a fellow employee’s workers’ comp proceedings, we will support you.
2. Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Harassment
A high percentage of employees of all genders, sexual orientations, and gender identities report being sexually harassed at their workplace. Only some feel able to complain about their mistreatment. If you have courageously brought a complaint of your sexual harassment (or the sexual harassment of a fellow worker) to your employer and been terminated as a result, your employer is breaking laws, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination.
3. Retaliation For Reporting Age, Race, Disability, Ethnic, Religious Discrimination, etc.
A great many types of workplace discrimination are forbidden by U.S. and state law. If you believe you have been singled out for retaliatory discharge because you complained about any type of forbidden discrimination, our talented retaliatory discharge attorneys will stand by you and fight for your rights.
4. Retaliatory Discharge For Disputing Wage And Hour Issues
As an employee, you have the right to dispute wage and hour irregularities. If your employer decides to terminate you rather than handle such issues in a reasonable manner, you are entitled to sue for damages. Whether your complaint involves not receiving minimum wage, not being paid overtime, being misclassified, or not being allowed to take meal or rest breaks, we will hold your employer accountable.
6. Whistleblower Retaliatory Discharge
Wrongful termination can also affect whistleblowers, those who report an employer who is engaging in illegal activities, whether financial shenanigans, fraud, environmental violations, or some other form of illicit behavior.
7. Retaliatory Discharge For Taking Family Or Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees of companies with at least 50 employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care, for example, for a new baby or an ill spouse. Employers are not permitted to penalize employees for exercising their right to take this time. If you have been terminated by your employer for taking family leave for permissible reasons, we will fight vigorously to recover meaningful damages through agile negotiations in or out of the courtroom.
Discharge Is Not The Only Form Of Discrimination
It is important to be aware of the fact that discrimination takes multiple shapes. For example, racial or any other type of discrimination does not only involve termination. In a great many cases, an individual who remains employed may be subjected to other toxic forms of discrimination, such as:
- Being skipped over for promotion or bonuses
- Being segregated in the workplace
- Facing a hostile work environment filled with painful and demeaning comments, jokes, cartoons, texts, exclusion from training sessions, meetings, social gatherings
Our legal team is well-prepared to fight for your workplace rights however they are violated.
How Our Retaliatory Discharge Attorneys Can Help
Our highly skilled employment attorneys will fight aggressively to protect your right to earn a living and your right to complain about illegal actions taken by your employer. We will:
- Handle all communications with your employer and opposing counsel
- Identify and interview all witnesses to your mistreatment
- Gather and review evidence of illegal actions, such as letters, emails, texts, notices, memos, and any history of similar misconduct on the part of your employer
- Create a winning strategy for successful negotiations or, if necessary, litigation
It should reassure you to know that our lawyers have a sound track record of positive outcomes.
We know how to prove the essential elements of a retaliatory discharge claim by demonstrating that you:
- Faced or observed discrimination or other misconduct in the workplace
- Reported such discrimination or misconduct
- Were fired or laid off for lodging the complaint
Damages Our Retaliatory Discharge Attorneys Will Fight For
We will work tirelessly to get you reinstated (if desirable) at your former position and to recover damages for lost income, lost benefits, attorney fees and emotional distress. In cases in which your employer has behaved especially egregiously, we may also persuade the court to award you punitive damages.
Contact Our Experienced Retaliatory Discharge Attorneys Today
The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can offer you excellent legal advocacy and strong moral support. We know how frightening it can be to engage in a battle that threatens your livelihood and will be right at your side every step of the way. Contact us now so we can start building your case.
FMCO Law, located in Geneva, Illinois, defends clients in Chicago and surrounding DuPage, Kane and Cook counties from retaliatory discharge and all other forms of illegal discrimination.