How Can Illinois Employees Challenge Unfair Dismissal Under State Law?

What is Unfair Dismissal in Illinois?

Unfair dismissal, also known as wrongful termination, wrongful discharge, or unlawful termination, refers to an unfortunate situation wherein an employee is fired by their employer for reasons that appear unauthorized or against state law. In Illinois, wrongful termination is defined in a unique way. A wrongful termination lawsuit can only be successfully filed if the fired employee can establish proof that the reason for their firing was a violation of a legal statute.

Examples of wrongful termination in Illinois include:

  • Discrimination. Any employee who is fired from their place of employment because of their race, gender, gender identity, sex, sexuality, national origin, or ethnicity may have the makings of a successful wrongful termination suit.
  • Breach of contract. If an employee is terminated and that termination is a breach of the terms of their employment contract, then this may result in a wrongful termination case.
  • Leave. Illinois employees cannot be fired for attending jury duty, voting in elections, taking valid vacation days, or using the time that is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Retaliation. Workers cannot be fired for taking protected actions, such as whistleblowing, defending their free time, or filing a complaint with the EEOC. If a worker has been fired in an act of retaliation against the employee, that worker can seek legal action.
  • Public policy. If workers are terminated for reasons that go against Illinois or national public policy, then this could result in a wrongful termination case. Such wrongful termination claims are often filed in coordination with claims of retaliatory discharge.

The term unfair dismissal is fairly uncommon in the US. It is more frequently used in Britain. In most cases, employees file wrongful termination claims. They may argue for unfair dismissal in cases where the employer did not violate state or federal employment laws.

Is Illinois an ‘At-Will’ State?

Like the majority of the nation, Illinois is an employment-at-will state. In at-will states, employment laws make clear that employers can fire their employees for any reason, without warning, so long as the reason does not violate state or federal laws.

However, if an employee is fired for any unlawful or illegal reason, or they suspect that to be the case, they may take legal action by filing wrongful termination claims.

What Can You Do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Dismissed?

Employees have the legal option to sue their employers for unfair dismissal or wrongful termination. However, the process can be complicated, especially in cases of unfair dismissal that do not rise to the level of violations of employment laws.

Unfairly dismissed or terminated employees must submit formal written complaints to the relevant authorities before they are able to file a lawsuit against their former employer. The plaintiff (the former employee) has the burden of proof to establish that they were wrongfully or unfairly terminated from their place of employment. This will involve a lot of work, as it means showing that the employer violated their contract or violated employment laws in some way. It is highly recommended that wronged employees retain professional legal counsel when filing such legal cases.

If the wronged employee and their former employers cannot come to an agreement for a settlement following the unfair dismissal or wrongful termination, compensation will be calculated by the courts. How much a former employee stands to recover for their legal case depends upon several factors relevant to each unique case.

Our law firm has years of experience representing clients in complex employment law cases across the state of Illinois. We are well-versed in both federal and state laws and more than capable of representing your legal rights as you pursue justice and financial compensation for your legal matters. To learn more about our legal services and how we could help you with your legal issues, please contact our law firm to schedule your initial consultation today.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination?

In the state of Illinois, the plaintiffs are responsible for proving unfair dismissal or wrongful termination in their legal matters. They must establish that they have been wrongfully or unfairly dismissed due to engaging in protected activities or in breach of their employment contracts.

Those seeking to prove their wrongful termination cases are highly advised to seek professional legal representation. These types of cases can be hard-fought and difficult, and it is unwise to proceed without experienced attorneys in your corner.

Our law offices would be proud to represent your legal interests as you pursue some form of relief following your wrongful termination or unfair dismissal. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us to schedule an in-depth case evaluation today.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing Wrongful Termination Claims in IL?

You have a certain amount of time to file a wrongful termination lawsuit in the state of Illinois. Failure to file your claim within the allotted time window could result in your case being dismissed and your chances of recovering compensation forever lost.

You are provided with five years from the time of the termination to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. However, it’s important that you do not wait too long. The sooner that you speak with experienced lawyers about your case, the better your chances of having a satisfactory outcome.

Contact Us Today for a Case Evaluation

Have you been wrongfully terminated or unfairly dismissed from your place of employment? You may have legal recourse for recovering some form of financial relief and justice following this wrongful dismissal. However, the way forward will be challenging, and your employers will likely lawyer up to defend their interests. It is highly recommended that you do the same.

S.T. Legal Group has extensive experience representing clients in the complexities of state and federal employment law cases. We proudly serve clients across the state of Illinois and help take the burden off their shoulders as they seek the most optimal outcomes for their employment law Legal matters.

To discuss your case, please contact our highly skilled legal team to schedule your initial case review today. You may contact us at 847.654.9200.