Where Do I Report Wrongful Termination In Illinois?

Submitted by pec on

Have you recently been fired from a job in Illinois? Do you believe the reason your employer fired you is illegal?

You may have a valid wrongful termination case if so. By taking legal action against an employer, you could theoretically seek financial compensation, reinstatement to your job, and other such compensation and damages. The following overview explains the basics of the process.

What Is Wrongful Termination?

Illinois is technically an at-will employment state. In an at-will state, an employer has substantial freedom to terminate an employee at any time and for nearly any reason.

However, even in at-will states, there are reasons for firing an employee that may constitute a violation of labor laws. An employer in Illinois may engage in wrongful termination if firing an employee constitutes:

  • An act of discrimination based on an employee’s protected characteristics (such as gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, etc.)
  • A violation of an employment contract
  • An act of retaliation against an employee for engaging in certain legal actions (such as reporting unsafe workplace conditions)

Be aware that it’s unlikely an employer will admit to firing an employee for an illegal reason. An employer might instead make up a false reason for firing an employee.

You may need to present substantial evidence to prove you have a valid wrongful termination case in Illinois. A wrongful termination attorney could assist you with this process.

Reporting Wrongful Termination To the Illinois Department of Human Rights

If you believe you have a valid case, your first step after gathering evidence may involve filing a report with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). This agency handles wrongful termination cases in Illinois when firing an employee qualifies as an act of discrimination.

The IDHR’s website provides information about how to file an employment complaint online. You have 300 days from the time you experienced discrimination (in the form of wrongful termination) to file a charge. If you wait too long to take action, the IDHR may be unable to help you.

Reporting Wrongful Termination To the EEOC

The IDHR is the state agency you might turn to first when building a wrongful termination case in Illinois. However, you can also seek assistance from the federal government.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for handling workplace discrimination and wrongful termination cases. Like the IDHR, the EEOC offers an online guide to filing a report.

Sometimes, when you file a discrimination or wrongful termination complaint with a state agency, the agency automatically files it with the EEOC. Confirm the IDHR will take this step on your behalf when you file a report. If the IDHR files your report with the EEOC for you, you might not have to do so yourself.

Speak With An Employment Law Attorney

You don’t have to navigate the process of filing a wrongful termination complaint yourself. A wrongful termination attorney who takes cases in Illinois could guide you through the process. Their assistance might also improve your chances of winning your case. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent employment law attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.

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