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


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