Wrongful Termination: Helpful Tips
Useful Insight from a Chicago Employment Lawyer
Are you experiencing discrimination at work? Do you think your legal rights have been violated? Are you trying to figure out what to do next? If you have been fired or believe that you are about to be fired, you are in a potentially tricky situation. Getting accurate information and insight can help you make the right choices. Here are some helpful tips related to wrongful termination based on the firm's experience. If you would like to learn more, please call the firm to schedule an appointment with an experienced employment attorney.
Remove personal items and information from your workplace. If your employer decides to terminate your employment, you may be escorted suddenly from the building. If you think you are about to be terminated, be sure to "sanitize" your workplace by deleting personal emails and files from your computer and removing personal items such as photographs, letters and calendars from your desk. Any files, employee handbooks, commendations or other items that belong to you should be taken home now. If you are uncertain as to which items you can legally remove, ask your attorney.
Remember that Illinois is an employment at-will state. In Illinois, your employer may terminate you for any reason at all, other than an illegal reason. There is no law against unfairness.
Try to remain respectful. Even in the face of harsh or hostile treatment by your employer, try to remain respectful. Because things you say may be brought up later in court, refrain from saying or doing anything that you would not want a judge or jury to hear about.
Do not delay in taking legal action. If you believe you are the victim of
discrimination or retaliation by your employer or a co-worker, remember that statutes of limitations apply. By law, claims must be filed within a specified period of time or they will not be actionable. For example, to file a charge of discrimination with a city, county or state agency, you must file within 180 days from the time you knew or should have known that you were discriminated or retaliated against. In Illinois, the limitations period for filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is 300 days.
Get a copy of your personnel records. During the time you are employed and for the first year after you leave an employer, you are entitled to a copy of your personnel records within seven days of your written request. If your employer refuses to comply, report it to the Illinois Department of Labor.
Consider whether you may be entitled to unemployment compensation. If your employer tells you that you will be terminated if you do not resign, you will probably be entitled to unemployment compensation unless you have engaged in some type of misconduct.
Do not discount your ability or worth as an employee. Remember that although you cannot control what others do, you can control how you feel about your termination. If you were terminated even though you did a good job for your employer, remind yourself daily that employees are often terminated for reasons that have nothing to do with their abilities, performance, or worth.
Seek legal help. If you are thinking about quitting your job because you believe you are about to be terminated, consult with an experienced employment law attorney first. Resigning from your job may diminish or eliminate the value of any claim you may have against your employer. Your family attorney can refer you to an attorney specializing in employment law. Alternatively, contact a bar association and ask to be referred to an attorney who specializes in employment law. Make sure to ask whether the bar association screens attorneys on its specialty referral panels, and how long an attorney must practice employment law to be on that panel. Hiring a skilled lawyer may have a considerable impact on the outcome of your case.
For tips and insight that apply to your unique case, contact a Chicago employment lawyerat our firm.