Speak Now: The Statute of Limitations

Speak Now: The Statute of Limitations

Gavel with a clock for concept of statute of limitations with Employment Law Firm Chicago.

Whether you are not getting paid properly at work or you are dealing with a sexual harassment claim, you need to understand all the legalities involved. One important part of a claim is knowing the deadline to file. This is called the statute of limitations.

Statutes of limitations in Illinois are complicated; they can vary depending on the type of claim. If you do not comply with these deadlines,  you can lose the right to sue altogether. This means you could miss out on a large sum of money. Do not let this happen to you, and do not assume that the court will allow your claim even if you are late by just a day or two. Instead, act quickly after the action occurs and contact a lawyer as soon as possible to get the ball rolling.

Wage Payment

One common area of concern is wage payment. Illinois employers are required to pay wages at least twice a month. The wages must be paid within 13 days after the end of the pay period. When an employee leaves their job, all final compensation, including vacation pay and bonuses, must be paid by the next regularly scheduled payday. If an employee has an issue with wages, they must file a claim with the Illinois Department of Labor within one year from the date that the final wages were due. 


If you have faced discrimination or harassment in the workplace based on your race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy status, and sexual orientation, age, or disability, you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is called a “Charge of Discrimination and it typically must be filed within 180 days. However, if your complaint is also covered by a local or state anti-discrimination law, then you have 300 days to file a claim.

Retaliatory Discharge

If you were fired for asserting a protected right, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim, or for refusing to do something illegal, then you may be able to sue your employer for retaliatory discharge. The statute of limitations on this type of claim is five years.

Wrongful Termination

Illinois is an at-will state, which means that employees can be fired for any legal reason, as long as there is no discrimination or employment contract involved. The statute of limitations on a wrongful termination claim is five years for oral agreements and 10 years for written contracts.

Contact an Illinois Employment Law Firm

If you wish to file an employment claim, or any other legal claim for that matter, know that there are deadlines involved. You cannot wait forever to file a claim, so start the process as soon as possible. 

The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline will help you understand the statute of limitations for your claim.  Make sure you know your rights and legal options. Call us or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.