When employees are fired from their jobs, they are usually upset, confused, and possibly even angry. However, in some cases, they may not understand that they were wrongfully terminated. Both state and federal laws protect employees from wrongful termination, even though Illinois is an at-will employment state. This means that both employees and employers can terminate employment at any time. This does not apply to every situation, though, and employees are still often wrongfully terminated. When employees believe that is the case, they need to speak to a Des Plaines wrongful termination lawyer who can help.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee in a manner that violates the employee’s rights. Wrongful termination covers many different circumstances including termination based on:
Although Illinois is an at-will employment state, workers in Des Plaines are some of the most heavily protected workers against wrongful termination. This is due to the fact that some states only recognize certain laws. For example, only 11 states recognize the covenant of employment in good faith. Illinois though, recognizes the good faith covenant, the public policy exception (such as serving on a jury), and the implied contract exception.
Being fired is never easy. However, when an employee knows he or she has been wrongfully terminated, it is even more difficult. Emotions may run higher, and that employee may want to take immediate action. This is a natural response, but a victim of wrongful termination should speak to an attorney before taking any type of action.
Instead of acting out immediately against their employer, employees who believe they have been wrongfully terminated should collect their employment contract, their employee handbook, and any other material related to their employment. An attorney will look over these documents with the employee to determine if wrongful termination took place.
This is a much better solution than the employee confronting the employer on their own, which could damage their case in the future.
While it may not seem like it at the time, employees who have been wrongfully terminated have a number of options available to them. One of these is to file a lawsuit to claim compensation and possibly, even get their job back. However, after being treated so unfairly by an employer, few employees wish to return to their former place of work.
Still, a lawsuit can provide for certain types of compensation such as punitive and compensatory damages, without requesting the employees continue on in their scope of employment. This compensation can provide for the expenses the employees will face while they continue to look for new employment.
Some employees do not wish to file a lawsuit at all after wrongful termination. This is understandable for certain individuals, as lawsuits are sometimes long and stressful. When this is the case, employees may wish to negotiate for severance packages that will provide for the same daily expenses, but is obtained more quickly and without litigation.
Filing a claim with the Illinois Human Rights Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are two other options available in wrongful termination cases. These government agencies have their own recourse they will take if it is found an employer is engaging in wrongful termination practices or other violations that go against federal or state employment law.
Facing termination is frustrating, but being fired due to unjust and unfair employment practices is extremely difficult. Anyone who feels as though they have been fired unfairly needs to speak to a wrongful termination attorney in Des Plaines who can help.
If you feel as though you have been wrongfully terminated, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We have a thorough knowledge of employment law and will apply it to your case to help you determine which course of action is right for you. The final decision is always yours, we just want to help ensure you are successful with what you decide, and that you understand all options available to you. Call us today or fill out our online form to learn more.