Since Illinois is an at-will employment state, many workers think they have no legal right to keep their jobs, but that is not true. Both federal and state laws give workers important rights in this area. These rights do not just apply to entry and exit-level decisions, like hiring and firing. They also apply to everyday issues, like sexual harassment and others.
Nevertheless, unless you have a skilled attorney on your side, these rights might as well not exist. When a dispute arises, your employer has a posse of lawyers looking out for its interests. Furthermore, Illinois employment law is complex, and it is not employee-friendly. At the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, we even the odds in this unfair fight. Our aggressive, professional team stands up for your rights. Moreover, we know the law, and we know how to make it work for you.
Both federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination based on a status like age, race, gender, and sexual orientation. These laws apply to most employers with at least a dozen employees. The requirement is lower in some cases.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, or another government agency, is usually responsible for enforcing these laws, but the enforcement is selective. Typically, agencies like the EEOC only take cases that are easy to win and involve a huge amount of damages. These bureaucrats routinely refuse to intervene unless both conditions are present. So, if your EEOC passes on your case, do not despair. Government bureaucrats may be unwilling to stand up for your rights, but we are.
Procedurally, the victim must typically establish racial, age, or another type of discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). In many other cases, however, it is only necessary to prove retaliation. Assume Samir complains about national origin discrimination, and his boss fired him. Whether or not his discrimination claim is valid, Samir may have a separate claim for unlawful retaliation.
The retaliation rule may protect other employees, as well, such as those who file workers’ compensation claims.
Illinois has one of the most comprehensive minimum wage laws in the country. It mandates not only a minimum hourly wage but also periodic rest and meal breaks. If your employer fires or disciplines you for taking such breaks or fails to pay the minimum wage, speak to an attorney about a possible wrongful discharge claim. The minimum wage law is not the only protective measure available to workers. Other state and federal laws apply to Family and Medical Leave. The Family Medical Leave Act gives certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious illnesses, the birth of a new child, and other qualifying conditions. The anti-discrimination retaliation rules also apply to time-off cases.
Employers must obey certain rules when hiring, firing, or disciplining employees. For a free consultation with an experienced discrimination attorney in Evanston, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline.