Not Sure If Your Termination Was Legal?
Chicago Employment Attorney Jemelle Cunningham Will Protect Your Rights
Many wrongfully terminated employees do not realize that state and federal employment laws protect workers from wrongful termination, so they accept their job loss without a fight. An experienced employment law attorney can help. Dedicated to protecting the rights of workers from the South Side to Millennium Park, from the West Side to Soldier Field, and from Lincoln Park to the Loop, Chicago employment attorney Jemelle Cunningham at LAD Law Group, P.C. fights for wrongfully terminated employees and the compensation or reinstatement they deserve.
Wrongful Termination Defined
Wrongful termination occurs when an employerâ€™s firing of an employee violates that employeeâ€™s rights. Like other states, Illinois observes the legal doctrine of â€śemployment at will.â€ť This doctrine gives both employer and employee the right to terminate a working relationship at any time, with or without a reason, when no written employment contract exists. However, employers cannot terminate employees for illegal reasons, such as discrimination or retaliation. Other exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine include:
- Termination cannot violate state public policy, such as firing an employee for filing a workerâ€™s compensation claim or serving on a jury.
- Termination cannot violate an implied employment contractâ€”an implied employment contract may be established if an employer orally assures a worker of continued employment or if an employer creates an expectation of continued employment via handbooks, policies or other written assurances.
- Termination cannot violate the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which has been interpreted by some states to mean that termination must be for cause and interpreted by other states to mean termination cannot be made with malicious intent.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of October 1, 2000, 43 states recognized the public policy exception, 38 states recognized the implied contract exception and 11 states recognized the covenant of good faith and fair dealing exception. Illinois recognizes all three.
Take Action Now
In addition to these wrongful termination protections, whistleblower laws protect employees who refuse to participate in or report an employerâ€™s illegal activities, while discrimination laws protect employees from termination based on a legally protected characteristic such as age, race, sex or disability. If you have been unjustly fired or laid off, let Chicago employment lawyer Jemelle Cunningham help.
Unfortunately, because of the common misconception that employers can terminate at-will workers at any time for any reason, many wrongfully terminated employees remain unaware of the violation of their rights. Do not allow this to become your fate.