Illinois is an at-will employment state. Workers can be fired for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. However, they cannot be fired for an illegal reason. In American employment law, the illegal reasons vastly outnumber the legal reasons.
The Oak Park discrimination attorneys at the Law Office of Mitchell Kline know the law, and they know how to make the law work for employees. Whether you commute to Chicago full time or work seasonally at the Arlington International Racecourse, you have important rights. But unless a seasoned Oak Park discrimination attorney is on your side, your employer may run roughshod over these rights. We are here to prevent that from happening.
The ever-expanding Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination. These prohibitions apply not only to termination proceedings, but also hiring, promotion, demotion, and most other employment decisions. Some specific kinds of discrimination include:
Most of these statuses are very broadly defined. For example, a “disability” is any mental, physical, emotional, or other condition which impairs daily activities in some way. Additionally, the disability need not be entirely involuntary. Obesity may be a disability, in many situations.
Moreover, intent is not an element of employment discrimination. Some employer policies have a disparate impact. A no-beard policy is a good illustration. Many religious groups include facial hair as a central tenant, and many ethnic groups grow beards to reduce razor burns or shaving bumps.
To obtain damages, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case of discrimination. The employer may then try to show that the complained-of act had a neutral effect, but that showing is difficult to make.
Entry and exit-level decisions often involve some kind of employment discrimination. Day-to-day employer/employee relations often involve a protected activity.
Sexual harassment is a good example of a protected activity. All workers have the right to a harassment-free workplace. While not every course joke or lewd remark constitutes sexual harassment, the cumulative effect of these things may create a hostile work environment. Also, it is blatantly illegal to condition anything, like a promotion or a nicer office chair, on any sort of sexual favor. Generally, if the request made you feel uncomfortable, it was probably an illegal quid pro quo.
Government agencies are in place to protect employee rights with regard to protected activity. But if these bureaucrats refuse to act, as is often the case, our Oak Park discrimination attorneys are here to help.
In Illinois, workers have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced Oak Park discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.