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