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


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