In Illinois, most employment is considered "at will". This form of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any point, for any reason. In "at will" employment, the only basic exception is that the reasons for termination must not be illegal or in violation of the law.
Employment arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is essential that you know how your work setup is classified. Generally, if your employment arrangement was for a set term, it is not "at will", and the employment can only be terminated according to procedure contained in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Illinois?
Regarding terminating an Illinois employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a certain race, religion, gender, or nationality. Chicago employers are further barred from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Also, the Family and Medical leave act prohibits employers from firing employees for having taken leave for family or medical reasons. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a Illinois Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Chicago, Illinois lawyers are knowledgeable and can inform you properly as to whether a wrongful termination has occurred. They will also be able to help you gather the necessary information and documents, and will guide you through any unique or special procedures.