Understanding the Basics of “At-Will” Employment

Web Admin - Monday, December 19, 2016

Illinois is an “at-will” employment state. This essentially means that either the employer or the employee may terminate their relationship at any time, without reason or cause. However, there are some important limitations to this law. Employers and employees should both know and understand them, as well as how a violation of one may impact their future. The following explains further.

At-Will Employment and Wrongful Termination of Employees

By law, employees are protected from discrimination based on their age, gender, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, or citizenship status. Further, an employer cannot discriminate against those with disabilities, nor may they terminate an employee for exercising their legal rights to take family medical leave. Employees are also protected when they must take time off work for jury duty, or to serve active military duty. Whistleblowers are supposed to receive immunity from employer retaliation as well. Violations of these limitations can result in serious legal troubles for employers, including litigation from a wrongfully terminated employee.

The risk of litigation to employers makes exceptional record-keeping a critical matter. This is especially true when it comes to the problematic employee – the one who consistently comes in late or calls out sick but might potentially claim harassment or discrimination within the workplace. Further, any contracts with the employee should be carefully reviewed to ensure no violations on the part of the employer may take place during the termination of employment. For assistance, contact an experienced Illinois employment law attorney.

At-Will Employment and the Employee’s Duty to Notify

Ideally, employers prefer if they are given notice prior to an employee’s leave of a company. The law does not obligate them to give this notice, however. Still, it should still be noted that employees may be bound by contract to their company. Failure to meet the terms could result in a loss of certain benefits you might have otherwise been entitled to, had you provided notice or been terminated by your employer. For questions about a contract of employment, contact an experienced Illinois employment law attorney.

Contact Our Deer Park Employment Law Attorneys

Whether you are an employer or an employee who has been wronged by an employer, the experienced Deer Park employment law attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Seasoned and dedicated, we offer personalized representation to suit your specific needs. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call 847-934-6000 today.

Ken ApicellaAbout 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


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