Illinois, like most other jurisdictions, is an at-will employment state. Employees usually have the right to leave their jobs at any time. The same thing is true in reverse. Generally, employers may fire employees at any time, for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. However, employers cannot fire workers for illegal reasons. Although terminated employees have legal rights, these legal rights are often difficult to enforce.
These difficulties underscore the need for an experienced Chicago employment discrimination lawyer from the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. Our legal team understands how devastating a sudden job loss can be. So, we quickly take action to protect your legal rights. This action includes a thorough case evaluation followed by an honest assessment of your legal options. Then, once we go to court, we never stop fighting for you.
Although the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed most kinds of employment discrimination over 50 years ago, direct and indirect job biases are still common in Chicago. Some companies have illegal policies that have been in place so long the companies do not think they are unlawful. Others violate the law because they think they can get away with it.
Direct discrimination is disparate treatment discrimination, which is basically treating different people differently.
Pregnancy discrimination is a good example. Some companies have discriminatory parental leave policies. Others flatly refuse to hire pregnant women. These companies typically use excuses, like employment qualifications, to hide this disparate treatment discrimination.
In these situations, a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer must prove the plaintiff was a member of a protected class (usually gender or ethnicity) and suffered adverse action. Then, if the employer cannot convince a jury it had a neutral reason for its action, compensation is available.
Disparate treatment, or indirect discrimination, usually means having employment rules that appear neutral but are discriminatory. Mandatory Saturdays are a good example. This rule may appear nondiscriminatory, especially if the employer is a retailer. However, this policy has a disparate impact. It disproportionately affects people in certain faiths who consider Saturdays to be holy days.
This example makes some important points. Religious beliefs need not be recognized or orthodox. They must only be sincere. Furthermore, in such situations, employees should not have the burden of constantly switching Saturday shifts with other workers. Instead, the employer has a legal obligation to do the right thing.
Experience may be the most important quality to look for in a Chicago employment discrimination law firm. These cases are quite complex, so only experienced lawyers should handle them.
Accessibility and dedication are almost as important. The lead attorney in a law firm should not just be a face on advertising material. This attorney should assume primary responsibility for your case and be accessible to answer your questions. Furthermore, your attorney should be dedicated to individual rights. Undedicated, general practice lawyers often miss important details that make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome.
Job bias victims have legal options in Illinois. For a free consultation at an experienced Chicago employment discrimination law firm, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We routinely handle matters throughout Chicagoland.