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


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