The federal government and the state of Illinois provide you with certain rights as an employee. When you exercise those rights, you should be able to do so without fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, not all employees are clear about what their rights are or what their employers can and cannot do under employment law.
For instance, if you suffered an injury on the job, your employer cannot terminate your employment because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Perhaps you reported some wrongdoing by the company that employs you such as issues about workplace accidents, fraud or violations of environmental regulations, among other activities that would be considered contrary to federal or Illinois law. Your employer cannot fire you for making such reports.
The same could be said for reporting violations of wage and hour laws such as the failure of your employer to pay overtime, among other things. Reporting instances of sexual harassment or discrimination perpetrated by co-workers, managers or supervisors should not result in your termination either. If you personally suffered some form of discrimination or sexual harassment that you believe resulted in your termination, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful termination.
If you believe that your termination falls into one of these categories, you may be protected under either federal or state law, or perhaps both. You do not have to simply accept your termination if it violated the law. It might help to obtain a legal opinion before you take any further action. Discussing the matter with an employment law attorney could provide you with answers to your questions, along with an explanation of your rights and what steps you may take next.