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


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