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


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