Examples Of Wrongful Termination

You may have been an exemplary employee and received outstanding performance reviews and regular promotions. But suddenly, you were fired for no apparent reason, and a co-worker replaced you. You are probably shocked and confused and may think you were wrongfully terminated.

However, it takes considerable evidence to prove wrongful termination, so it is best to speak to an attorney with expertise in this area. If you think you were wrongfully terminated, you should outline your case to our Chicago wrongful termination attorney at North Suburban Legal Services today.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

As mentioned at the top of this article, the firing must have been illegal. Under the law, it is insufficient to have ‘a feeling’ that you were wrongfully fired – you must prove it. In Illinois, you can file a wrongful termination claim if you were fired, and you can prove:

  • Discrimination: It is against state and federal law to discriminate against someone because they are in a protected class, which includes nationality, gender, race, gender identity, pregnancy, age, marital status, and disability.
  • Breach of contract: If you had a contract with your employer that was breached because you were fired, it may be wrongful termination. But, if you had a contract with an end date for your services, you are considered an independent contractor, not an employee.
  • Taking leave: You cannot be terminated for taking leave that you are legally entitled to, such as vacation time or medical leave.
  • Retaliation: A worker cannot be fired for engaging in a protected action, such as protesting against the company, whistleblowing, or filing a discrimination claim.
  • Public policy: You cannot be fired for reasons contrary to public policy, usually based on retaliatory discharge. Examples are not performing sexual favors for managers, filing for workers’ comp, and serving on a jury.

Examples Of Legal Termination

It is important to remember there are many legal reasons you can be terminated in Illinois. Some of them include work quality, work performance, workplace behavior, lack of productivity, unprofessional behavior, being late, insubordination, and creating a hostile work environment.

Examples Of Wrongful Termination

Many possible scenarios could be wrongful termination. Here are a few:

Dismissed While On Leave

Suppose you took family or medical leave, and your employer terminates you while you are gone. It is possible that you were let go as part of a downsizing plan or layoff, but it also could be wrongful termination.

You also could have a valid claim if you were demoted, put under a performance review for no reason, or put into a new role when you got back that was lower than your current one. While your position does not have to be held while you are out, a comparable role must be offered. If you are put in a lower position that does not have the same impact as your earlier one, you should consider filing a claim.

You Were Discriminated Against At Work

Some employees think that if they work for a company for years and are suddenly fired, it cannot be based on discrimination. But that is not true. Sometimes, a new owner or management could take over and decide to fire you for an illegal reason.

Here is another possibility: You have been with the company for six months, and no one has met your significant other. Then, you and your partner go to a company event together, and they see that you are the same sex or your partner is dressed in religious apparel. The following week, you are fired. The employer may have been unaware of who your partner was before that event. The firing may be related to the person with whom you have a personal relationship.

You Report Illegal Activities At Work

If you offered proof of illegal activities on the job and were fired, it could be wrongful termination. For example, suppose you report that an executive was filing false benefit claims or your supervisor authorizes hazardous waste dumping behind your building. These are legitimate whistleblower activities, and you cannot be fired for them.

Someone Slandered You

Defamation occurs when someone publishes inaccurate information about you on purpose, which can affect your status in society or image. You could claim you were unfairly fired if your boss said something defamatory about you when you were fired. You might be able to win a defamation lawsuit because those false accusations make it harder for you to find another job.

You Had A Contract And Were Fired

There often are provisions in a contract that state why you can be fired from a position. If you think you were fired for a reason that is not in your contract, you may be able to claim illegal termination.

How To Prove Wrongful Termination

A wrongful termination case can be challenging to prove in Illinois because most employees are ‘at will.’ This means the employer can fire you without cause, so it can be difficult for the employee to gather convincing evidence alone. You should not usually represent yourself in a wrongful termination claim. It is usually best to speak to an experienced wrongful termination attorney to review the situation and determine if you have a strong case.

What To Do If You Were Wrongfully Terminated

If you want to file a wrongful termination lawsuit, you must try various administrative remedies first. Thus, you need to file a complaint with the correct agency.

In Illinois, discrimination laws are overseen by the Illinois Department of Human Rights. The first step in your wrongful termination claim is to file your claim with the EEOC. That agency will consider the claim and determine whether the case should proceed. If the EEOC does not move forward, you should talk to an attorney about filing a lawsuit.

Contact Our Chicago Wrongful Termination Attorneys

If you were recently fired and you believe the reason for it was illegal, you have the right to take legal action. Consider filing a lawsuit with the help of a Chicago wrongful termination attorney at North Suburban Legal Services. Please call us for a case review today at (312) 909-6089. You should only attempt to handle a wrongful termination case with legal assistance.




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