Retaliatory Discharge and Whistleblower Claims in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, January 30, 2014

illinois whistleblower employment lawyerIllinois law creates something called an “at-will” employment relationship between an employee and an employer. Ordinarily, this means that an employer may fire an employee for any reason or even no reason at all. But, Illinois law does create an exception in cases of retaliatory discharge.

A retaliatory discharge occurs when an employer fires an employee for taking an action that is protected by either a statute or general public policy. One of the most common actions that gives rise to a retaliatory discharge claim is an employer's firing of an employee after “whistleblowing.” Whistleblowing means that an employee reported suspected illegal conduct by the employer to the government, and it is protected by 740 ILCS 174.

Illinois Whistleblower Protection

Illinois law provides statutory protection to whistleblowers, so that their employers cannot fire them in retaliation for their reporting. However, the law has a limited set of actions that qualify as whistleblowing for the purposes of legal protection. Employers may not fire their employees for reporting their illegal conduct to a government or law enforcement agency, testifying against them in court, or refusing to perform an illegal act. Furthermore, the information that the employee provides does not actually have to expose any illegal conduct on the part of the employer. Instead, the employee merely needs a reasonable belief that the information involves an illegal act.

The law also contains a few other miscellaneous provisions. It prohibits employers from putting in place policies that that would prevent an employee from disclosing information that they believed involved an illegal act on the part of the employer. Additionally, the law includes a catch-all provision, designed to provide broader protection to whistleblowers. It forbids employers from retaliating against employees for attempting to expose any “public corruption or wrongdoing.”

In addition to forbidding retaliatory discharge, the law also recognizes other types of actions as retaliation. Generally speaking, the law forbids employers to retaliate with “materially adverse employment actions.” While termination is certainly the most common, other things like demotions, pay cuts, transfers and shift changes may qualify under certain circumstances.

In the event that the employee proves that they suffered retaliation, the law provides them with a variety of remedies, including:

  • • Reinstatement; 
  • • Back pay with interest; 
  • • and Compensation for damages from the violation.

If you believe that you suffered a retaliatory discharge for whistleblowing or some other protected act, contact a Chicago employment lawyer today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team. We serve many Northwest Suburban areas including Barrington, Palatine, Schaumburg, and other surrounding communities.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Recent Posts


back injuries Illinois registered agent traffic tickets Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney pedestrian accidents car accident license suspension Joliet general practice lawyers insurance dispute attorney Des Plaines injury law firm wage theft Arlington Heights lawyer trust payments Illinois estate planning attorney denied insurance claims real estate leasing anesthesia errors estate planning lawyer golf accidents hands free device accidental death benefits Rolling Meadows Deer Park real estate law firm unfunded trust forming a corporation in Illinois manufacturing boating under the influence Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer pregnant women insurance claim delay life insurance claims Illinois business lawyer Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act dram shop law Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Illinois bicycle safety employment law home inspection lawyer Illinois job attorney Illinois Exclusions underinsured motorist unpaid assessment power of attorney ObamaCare trucking accident lawyers taxes homestead rights trucking accidents Barrington boating accident attorney Barrington estate planning lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney pay when paid contract Chicago corporate attorney dynasty trusts commercial leases South Barrington real estate lawyer GM ignition switches civil litigation attorney Illinois employment attorneys wills and trusts work unions Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois workers compensation attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys healthcare claims Chicago employment lawyer insurance agent negligence deed transfer insurance attorney Illinois traffic attorneys spinal cord injury Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove probate lawyer comparative negligence unauthorized overtime traffic crimes Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Illinois mortgages Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Des Plaines personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove law firm Arlington Heights car crash attorneys pet bites severance agreements distracted driving accident victims sexual harassment Des Plaines pet law attorney Illinois traffic attorney personal injury claim personal injury accidents Schaumburg employment law attorneys workplace sexual harassment Palatine construction attorney Inverness civil lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney murder charges probate process medication errors Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer changes to mortgage law consent to a search hit and run accident insurance claims Illinois pet lawyer car crash injuries traffic offenses Illinois injury lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, living trust paid sick leave rumble strips Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Illinois will lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Do Not Resuscitate Liquor Control Act Inverness real estate lawyer Chicago employment attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Illinois real estate Employment Discrimination Law Buffalo Grove employment lawyer overtime pay Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Illinois medical malpractice attorney Illinois insurance claims lawyers blood alcohol content Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois employment lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Schaumburg real estate lawyer insurance disputes Illinois defective products attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney Illinois driving without license Palatine elder law attorney BAC small business Rolling Meadows Attorney deadly crashes Long Grove real estate lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer car accidents Palatine traffic accidents Barrington drug crime attorney Self-Directed IRA Accounts personal injury attorney Long Grove estate planning attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act medical research Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney digital information Home Sale Contingencies Crystal Lake car accident attorney Illinois attorney Inverness probate lawyer Barrington attorney Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers fiduciary rule delay Schaumburg Inverness injury lawyer privacy Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Palatine Attorney corporate law Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Illinois personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights accident attorney Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Deer Park traffic lawyer real estate construction contracts insurance dispute jet ski residential real estate Palatine punch death Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Long Grove real estate attorney drunk driving statistics trustee Schaumburg car accident attorney federal crimes real estate zoning Barrington business law firm Des Plaines claims law firm Deer Park employment law attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers employment contract Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Illinois insurance claim attorney Whistleblower Claims digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, drug crimes new real estate form Crystal Lake employment lawyer brain injury Illinois criminal defense attorney wills Illinois traffic ticket lawyer surgical mistakes Rolling Meadows traffic attorney construction accidents comp time Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys mass shooting advance healthcare directive Illinois insurance disputes Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Crystal Lake will lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Palatine employment attorney landlord tenant law Des Plaines DMV Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Illinois car accident attorney irrevocable trust criminal record Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer denial of life insurance Schaumburg insurance lawyers bicycle dooring accidents DUI penalities drug possession DUI attorney Barrington criminal lawyer estate planning trusts Schaumburg Attorney Palatine corporate law attorneys Arlington Heights trucking lawyer insurance claim denials Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois elder law attorney Chicago insurance law firm personal injury claims Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Illinois traffic laws meal breaks texting while driving workers compensation fiduciary rule Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Illinois personal injury lawyer IRA trust transfer probate claims Illinois personal injury attorney Schaumburg elder law lawyer insurance claim dispute Illinois traffic accident lawyer trusts estate planning for college students estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers personal injury law firm Barrington litigation attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers natural gas medical malpractice compensation icy parking lots Buffalo Grove traffic attorney insurance adjusters Illinois home inspection civil rights violation employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, denied insurance claim Crystal Lake law firm coronavirus agent Long Grove estate planning attorneys Fourth of July filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois speeding lawyer PTSD Inverness corporate attorney holiday statistics Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Illinois business law atorneys automated cars Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Palatine injury attorney Illinois workplace lawyer life insurance policy breathalyzer test life insurance Barrington criminal defense lawyer in terrorem provision Attorney Ken Apicella Chicago insurance claim attorneys startup company federal regulations for LLCs employment lawyer liens Rolling Meadows business lawyer boating DUI Illinois personal injury insurance claim denial Palatine estate planning lawyer unpaid overtime job lawyers Colin Gilbert Kenilworth estate planning lawyer traumatic brain injuries estate tax Rolling Meadows employment attorney estate plan FSLA condo Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers cell phone accidents Arlington Heights traffic attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer DUI defense ACA caregiver murder defense Transfer on Death Instrument natural gas explosion whistleblower protections Landlord Tenant Ordinance Inverness elder law lawyer preventable medical errors compensatory time owner responsibility insurance claim dispute attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer CAM Illinois employment law attorneys Barrington personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Palatine personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney life insurance lawyer subcontractor Inverness estate planning lawyer Colin H. Gilbert low-ball insurance settlement Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer involuntary manslaughter drunk driving Illinois employment law attorney Arlington Heights Attorney Inverness traffic law firm probate claims process marijuana crimes attorney DNR texting and driving Illinois Smoke Detector Act Illinois estate planning law firm Illinois living will wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace liability Palatine workers compensation lawyer Barrington employment law attorney estate planning car crashes contracts Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney South Barrington real estate attorney Illinois insurance attorney healthcare car accident lawyer Illinois corporate lawyer Illinois trusts attorney financial advisors guardianship attorney Barrington injury attorney probate fees spinal cord injuries Barrington workers compensation attorney premises liability living trust vs will Illinois collections attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer mortgage Schaumburg criminal attorney Barrington estate planning attorney Arlington Heights insurance attorney crossover accidents Illinois civil litigation lawyer BAIID Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers traffic laws Schaumburg injury lawyer senior citizens Forcible Entry insurance denials medical marijuana Barrington Traffic Lawyer probate lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission wrongful termination Deer Park personal injury lawyer Illinois small business health insurance dispute Palatine probate lawyer elder law product liability Class A misdemeanor Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney privacy laws employee discrimination underage DUI Family Medical Leave Act real estate lawyer fatal car accidents traffic violations defense modern family estate planning Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Palatine corporate attorney operating agreements investment property nursing home negligence Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Illinois employment law firm Illinois employee rights attorney. commercial real estate Barrington real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer foreclosure Schaumburg employment attorney Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer field sobriety test car accident lawyers Inverness accident lawyer cell phone bad faith insurance claims Illinois rollover accident lawyers LLCs digital assets Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Palatine employment lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Chicago lawyer Arlington Heights injury attorney Illinois LLC creation Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer criminal defense Palatine civil attorney IRA benefits criminal law Thanksgiving Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents power of attorney for healthcare Illinois workers compensation lawyer Palatine business attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys auto accidents rest breaks Chicago attorney FMLA IRELA real estate attorney Schaumburg criminal law attorney drugs drug crimes lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Inverness personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute estate attorney loss of consortium college kids Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney Chicago will attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney Rolling Meadows accident lawyer real estate contract problem employees car collision clemency social media after death Crystal Lake pet attorney overtime violations special needs trust Detainer Actions revenge porn digital evidence Illinois Trust Code Illinois employment laws Crystal Lake car accident lawyer pedestrian accident insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Schaumburg probate attorney dealing with problem employees commercial leasing Buffalo Grove injury lawyer condo association blended families construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation trench injuries fault based insurance Mount Prospect elder law attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney right to work Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys murder Des Plaines criminal attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer Policy Cancellation Chicago estate planning vacation home fines motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer child safety bicycle accidents Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Chicago biking tips Illinois real estate lawyer Jay Andrew eluding a police officer slip and fall expungement preventing accidents insurance denial appeals dog bites pain and suffering Illinois Human Rights Act llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association motorcycle accident lawyer medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers living trust benefits civil litigation cell phone tower data pet law Inverness DUI lawyer employee rights disability benefits independent contractor Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys traumatic brain injury speeding liability claims Chicago car accident lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney Long Grove estate planning Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Mt Prospect Attorney foreclosed rental property Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Retaliatory Discharge suspended license Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Des Plaines drug lawyer Arlington Heights employment law attorneys no contest clauses defective products lawyer vacation home Schaumburg corporate attorney Super Mario Barrington employment attorney insurance negligence marijuana Crystal Lake accident attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Chicago estate planning lawyer slip and fall accidents Des Plaines civil attorney gift taxes Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer bike accident Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Legal Info Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Crystal Lake traffic attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys license Illinois tax attorney trauma after an accident breach of contract rollover accidents defective products installment contracts reckless homicide hiring employees real estate closing POA license reinstatement real estate attorneys Inverness insurance attorney traffic deaths insurance claim Palatine law firm Barrington civil litigation attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer pizza emoji Arlington Heights employment attorney Illinois probate lawyer Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act living wills personal injury head on collisions Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm first degree murder Deer Park traffic accident attorney Schaumburg personal injury attorney caretaker rights Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer minimum wage Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Palatine real estate lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorney Crystal Lake tax lawyer Affordable Care Act Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, insurance agents elder abuse Crystal Lake employment law attorney car crash Illinois estate planning traffic accidents employment attorney appealing an insurance claim swimming pools Des Plaines real estate attorney landlord distracted driving accidents income distribution deducation boating accidents TBI Chicago trucking accident attorney IRS pedestrian-automobile accident workers compensation benefits rollover car crashes medical malpractice claims Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Des Plaines personal injury lawyer ken apicella sole proprietorship Des Plaines DUI attorney license revocation Palatine drug lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney rent to own real estate contracts Illinois wills and trusts employee misclassification probate Deer Park accident attorney truck collisions sexual images loopholes Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer food poisoning Illinois DUI attorney business litigation traffic violations Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Inverness real estate attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer controlled substance Illinois lawyer Palatine insurance lawyer jet ski accidents Illinois red light cameras Des Plaines collections attorney Schaumburg estate attorney estate planning attorney Schaumburg civil litigation attorney criminal BUI underfunded trust Barrington employment law firm DUI internet tax attorney Des Plaines tax law firm insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys workers comp drug crime Illinois insurance lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer DGAA Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer institutional trustee Des Plaines real estate lawyer wrongful death creditors medical malpractice employees Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Illinois trucking safety capital gains tax Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Illinois employment law Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney driving Deer Park DUI lawyer Illinois Sales Representative Act Schaumburg drug defense lawyer uninsured motorist Illinois law Des Plaines accident attorney attorney fees products liability Fair Labor Standards Act Palatine trusts lawyer