You are a great worker with excellent performance reviews, but you were recently laid off. You announced that you were pregnant and were suddenly fired the following week. Is this illegal?
Illinois, like almost all states, is an at-will employment state. What this means is that you can be fired for no reason at all. Conversely, you can also quit your job at any time for no reason at all. Neither the employer or employee are bound by employment, so even if you are a hard-working employee who always works overtime, your employer can still fire you. It may seem unfair, but that is the way employment laws work.
However, there is such a thing as wrongful termination. Wrongful termination is the exception to the law and refers to the firing of an employee that is done in violation of local, state, or federal laws. It could also involve a violation of the terms of an employment agreement.
Do you think you were fired illegally from your job? If so, let a Chicago wrongful termination attorney from The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline assess your case.
Wrongful termination means being fired for an illegal reason such as discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. An employee cannot be discriminated against based on protected statuses such as age, race, religion, disability, marital status, pregnancy status, gender, or sexual orientation. If an employee faces harassment for any of the above protected statuses and it creates a hostile work environment that leads to termination, that is also considered wrongful termination.
In addition, a person cannot be terminated as a form of retaliation for performing a lawful, protected act, such as filing a workers compensation claim or filing a complaint regarding unsafe conditions or some other illegal act in the workplace.
Another thing to consider is if there was an employment contract or agreement in place. Maybe you signed a written contract or were given a detailed employee handbook. Perhaps your employer gave you an oral guarantee, claiming that you would be with the company for a certain period of time. If your employer fired you despite an employment guarantee, it could be considered a breach of contract.
Contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case. If you have a valid claim, you can sue your employer for wrongful termination. You may be able to receive compensation for your damages, such as compensation and reinstatement of your job.
While the laws may not seem fair to employees, employers are not obligated to keep workers for any reason, as long as there is no discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involved. As long as the termination does not break the law, it is legal.
Unsure if your firing was legal? The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline can assess your case and look for evidence of illegal activity. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call the office.