The state of Illinois is one of the states that allows employees and employers to terminate the employment relationship at any time and without any cause since the relationship is at-will. This is a legal term that unfortunately offers little protection to employees. However, in Illinois there are certain key elements that allow the employee to sue for wrongful dismissal.
Elements that You Must Have to Sue for Wrongful Dismissal
- You must be part of a group protected by law: race, color, ancestry, gender, country of origin, age (over 40), gender identity, sexual orientation, or victim of domestic violence.
- You were fired exclusively for being part of one of the categories mentioned above.
- Your employer has 15 or more employees in the company. In the case of discrimination based on disability, only one employee is enough for the law to be applicable.
- You claimed benefits granted by state law such as:
- Minimum wage.
- Overtime pay of time and a half after 40 work hours in a week.
- Right to breaks or lunch hour in a work day of 7.5 hours.
- You request permission to be absent from work because:
- You wish to exercise your citizenship duty and participate as a member of a jury or cast your vote.
- You have to care for a close relative with a serious medical condition or care for a child after giving birth or adopting, in accordance with the family medical act that permits you to be on leave for 12 weeks without pay.
- Your employer violates an explicit or implicit contract, since both are recognized by law in Illinois.
- Your employer breaches the contract terms that both are obligated to fulfill and fires you.
- The employer creates an implicit contract in several ways: a) indicating that no one will be fired as long as work is available; b) indicating that if you fail to fulfill your obligations, the employee manual stipulates the steps the follow before being fired. Unfortunately, you are fired without cause and without notice.
- Retaliation because although your conduct is legal, it contradicts or negatively affects your employer.
- You participate in an investigation, testify, or report a violation or illegal act of your employer.
- You refuse commit an unlawful act ordered by your employer.
Complexity of Illinois Wrongful Termination Law
Sometimes, it is not easy to determine if your employer violated one of the laws which offer you protection. Navigating the legal system is difficult and requires education and experience. If you were fired without cause, and you feel that it was as a result of one of the categories analyzed above but do not have convincing evidence, don’t be discouraged. The accident doctors and lawyers at Grupo MedLegal have been constructing wrongful employment dismissal cases for years.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.