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Steps to take if you were wrongfully terminated from your job

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Employment Law

Losing a job can be a stressful experience, especially if you believe the termination was unjust. In Illinois, employment is typically “at-will,” which means an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, except for illegal ones.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires someone for discriminatory reasons, retaliation, or other breaches of employment laws. If you suspect your termination was wrongful, there are specific steps you can take to address the situation and seek justice.

Collect and review your employment documents

Start by gathering all relevant documents related to your employment. This includes your employment contract, any correspondence from your employer, your employee handbook, and any records of performance reviews or disciplinary actions. Review these documents to understand the terms of your employment and any company policies that relate to termination practices.

Document everything

Keep a detailed record of all events leading up to and following your termination. Note conversations, meetings, and phone calls with dates and summaries of what was discussed. This documentation can be important in proving your case, especially if you decide to seek further action.

Understand your rights under Illinois law

Familiarize yourself with Illinois employment laws to understand what constitutes wrongful termination. Illinois law protects employees from being fired based on discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and other protected statuses. It also protects employees from termination in retaliation for certain protected activities, like filing a complaint about workplace safety.

Consider your next steps

After gathering all necessary information and reviewing your situation, consider what action to take. You might decide to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you believe your termination was due to discrimination or retaliation. These agencies can investigate your claim and may offer mediation or other solutions.

By understanding your rights and taking the appropriate steps, you can better manage the situation if you believe your employer wrongfully terminated you.