DGAA bLAWg

Retaliatory Discharge in Illinois: The Basics

Web Admin - Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Under the “at will” employment doctrine, employers are typically able to fire an employee for virtually any reason. There are some exceptions, however, including statutory rules which prevent employment discrimination against certain protected classes. Another exception is known as a “retaliatory discharge.”

What It Is

Essentially, the law, as outlined by the Illinois Supreme Court, allows an employee to recover damages if they show that they were fired from a job for engaging in legally protected conduct and that their termination violated public policy interests. A 1978 Supreme Court case, Kelsay v. Motorola, Inc. was the first in the state to define this tort.

Historically, there are two general types of situations where employees have won retaliatory discharge cases. The first is where an employee was fired for making a worker’s compensation claim.  To prevail in these situations, the burden is on the employee to affirmatively show that the termination was spurred by their seeking worker’s compensation.

In addition, employers can be liable for a retaliatory discharge when they fire an employee for reporting on improper conduct or refusing to participate in that conduct. For example, in one Illinois case, Palmateer v. International Harvester, an employee was fired after going to the police to share information about a fellow employee’s illegal actions. In another case decided by an Illinois appellate court, an employee won a claim after being fired for refusing to falsify pension plans--which itself violated federal law.

Retaliatory Discharge Damages

To pursue one of these cases, an employee must file a civil lawsuit specifically alleging that they were terminated in violation of these rules. But what sort of damages can the employee recover if they win?

Under Illinois case law, employees who win a retaliatory discharge case are generally able to recover lost wages from the date that the termination occurred until they find a new job. However, that does not mean that the employee can simply do nothing and collect a paycheck. Instead, courts have ruled that the employee has a duty to mitigate their damages by taking reasonable steps to find permanent work.

In addition, depending on the specifics of the case, a plaintiff may also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the conduct of the employer (instead of merely compensating the harmed party). These damages are only a possibility when the defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious. 

Legal Help

If you have questions about a potential retaliatory discharge case, contact a Palatine employment lawyer today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team. We serve many Northwest Suburban areas including Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, and other nearby communities.


Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive