If you were recently fired from your job and believe that your employer illegally terminated you, we know that you probably have many questions about whether you are eligible to file a claim and what that claim will look like. When you have been wrongfully terminated, you may have concerns about paying bills and finding other suitable employment. It is important to speak with an Oak Park wrongful termination lawyer to discuss your options.
In order to file a claim for wrongful termination in Oak Park, you will need to be able to prove that you were in fact wrongfully terminated. This can be somewhat difficult depending on the circumstances, given that Illinois is an “employment at-will” state. What does this mean? Generally speaking, it is important to understand that, as the Illinois Department of Labor explains, “an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without reason or cause.” However, just because Illinois is an employment at-will state does not mean that an employer can terminate your employment because of discrimination or in retaliation for certain actions.
In other words, unless you have an employment contract that specifies certain terms of your employment (in which case you are not an at-will employee), then you are likely an at-will employee. While being an at-will employee allows your employer to terminate you at any point and without a specific reason—just as you can quit your job at any point and without a specific reason—your employer is not permitted to engage in discriminatory or retaliatory behavior. To be clear, there are exceptions to at-will employment when it comes to termination.
According to a publication from the Monthly Labor Review of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Illinois law recognizes a public policy exception to at-will employment. In Oak Park, an employee cannot be terminated when that termination goes against an established and recognized public policy of the state of Illinois. Under a public policy exception, you may have a wrongful termination claim if your situation falls into one of the following categories:
In other words, your employer cannot retaliate against you by terminating you.
You also may be able to file a wrongful termination claim in Oak Park if you had an implied contract with your employer. For instance, even if you did not have a written contract but your employer made certain statements or promises suggesting that your had an employment agreement, then terminating you without cause may be grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
Discrimination is prohibited both under Illinois state law and under federal law. Under Illinois law, an employee cannot be terminated based on the employee’s race, color, religion, ex, national origin, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, unfavorable discharge from military service, financial credit, as well as other factors.
We know that it can be extremely stressful to learn that you have been terminated from your job, and you should not have to deal with this situation alone. At the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, we are dedicated to helping Oak Park employees who have been fired illegally, and an Oak Park wrongful termination attorney can begin examining your case today. Contact us to learn more about our services.