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Wrongful Termination

We are a nation of employees and most employment relationships are defined by the doctrine of employment at will. Unless your employment relationship is governed by a written contract or a collective bargaining agreement your employment relationship is likely defined by the doctrine of “employment at will.” In Illinois, an “at-will” employee may be discharged by the employer at any time for any reason. This means that an employer can terminate an employee for an unfair reason or for no reason at all, unless the termination violates a specific law. A termination in violation of the law is know as a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge. An employee who is terminated in violation of the law may have cause of action against his/her employer. Examples of wrongful termination include but are not limited the following:

  • Terminating an employee because of his or her race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In short, terminating an employee for a discriminatory reason.
  • Terminating an employee in retaliation for speaking out against, testifying about, or otherwise providing evidence of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Terminating an injured employee for seeking benefits under the Illinois Worker Compensation Laws.
  • Terminating an employee in retaliation for reporting to management and/or law enforcement what he or she ¬†reasonably believes is a violation the law. Also known as “whistle-blowing.”
  • Terminating an employee in retaliation for reporting what he or she reasonably believes is workplace violence to management and/or law enforcement.
  • Terminating an employee for complaining to management about unpaid minimum wages or overtime.
  • Terminating an employee because of his or her military service commitments.
  • Terminating an employee for reporting workplace safety violations to management and/or various law enforcement or government agencies regulating workplace safety.
  • Terminating healthcare employees or healthcare professionals in retaliation for reporting healthcare violations to management and/or government regulators.
  • Terminating an employee for refusing management’s orders to violate a law.
  • Terminating an employee in violation of a clear mandate of public policy.
  • Terminating a healthcare professional for refusing to perform, recommend, or assist in abortions.
  • Terminating an employee for filing a legitimate claim for medical or health benefits under a group plan.
  • Terminating an employee for missing work as a result of jury duty.
  • Terminating an employee for filing bankruptcy.
  • Terminating an employee for garnishment for indebtedness.
  • Terminating an employee for reporting what he or she reasonably believes to be violations of the health statutes, laws, or regulations to management and/or government regulators.

If you believe that you were terminated in violation of the law or that you are about to be terminated in violation of the law, contact Brian J. Graber, Ltd., at (312) 291-4648 as soon as possible for a free consultation.