Since Chicago’s beginnings as Fort Dearborn in 1803, values like hard work have been deeply ingrained in Chicagoans. Most people simply want to go to work, give their best efforts, and then go home to their families. Yet many employers have formal or informal policies that make these simple desires, which greatly benefit employers, almost impossible to fulfill. Making matters worse, when disputes arise, employees usually have unequal bargaining power, especially since Illinois is an at-will employment state.
At the Law Office of Mitchell Kline, our diligent Chicago labor dispute lawyers share these goals and values. We work hard to build a strong case that ensures maximum compensation. Our hard work includes not only collecting evidence and researching the law, but also proactively communicating with you. We seek to provide you with that additional peace of mind in what is normally an uncertain time.
Many Chicago labor disputes involve illegal discrimination. In a nutshell, employment discrimination is treating people in a protected class differently from other workers. That is especially true with regard to things like hiring or firing, promotion or demotion, and other major milestones in the employer-employee relationship. Some examples of protected characteristics include:
It is also illegal for employers to take adverse action against individuals because they engage in a protected activity. Political activity is a protected activity in some situations. So is anything related to labor organization.
Discriminatory acts could involve disparate treatment or disparate impact. Disparate treatment is treating different people differently. Disparate impact is a policy which adversely affects certain protected classes, such as a dress code which prohibits headgear.
Workers have the burden of proof in all these situations. They must establish discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That is the lowest burden of proof in Illinois.
Chicago workers have the right to a harassment-free workplace. Sexual harassment, whether it is blatant or subtle, is illegal. Additionally, employers usually have a duty to protect their employees from third-party sexual harassment. Restaurant patrons who harass waitresses are a good example. Moreover, if harassment becomes violent, employers cannot simply look the other way and blame the actor for the entire problem.
Your legal right to safety includes workers’ compensation. If you are hurt at work, either due to a sudden traumatic injury or a creeping occupational disease, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other economic losses.
Workplace safety includes financial rights, as well, such as the right to overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours a week. Frequently, employers try to use obscure loopholes to deny a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.
A web of laws protects Illinois workers from wrongful termination. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago labor dispute lawyer near you, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline.