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

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

Archive