Workers in Madison County are subject to the at-will employment laws of the state. This means that employers can fire workers at any time, for any reason. However, they cannot fire workers for illegal reasons like retaliation or discrimination.
Wrongful termination could give you a reason to sue your employer. If you have been terminated from your position and suspect it is because you are being discriminated against, contact an employment lawyer to discover your options. Our legal team is adept at handling Madison County wrongful termination cases and could pursue damages on your behalf.
What is Wrongful Termination in Madison County?
Wrongful termination refers to the unlawful firing of an employee. Although employers can terminate employees at will in Madison County, the Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/2) dictates that they cannot do so for illegal reasons such as the following.
If an employee gets injured on the job and files for workers’ compensation, and the employer retaliates by firing them, that is a form of wrongful discharge. Retaliation can also occur when an employee gets terminated because they previously reported their employer for misconduct.
Firing someone because of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, et cetera, is also illegal in Madison County. However, it could be challenging to prove that the company terminated someone because of discrimination unless the employer gave overt physical or verbal indications of their prejudice. A skilled attorney could help investigate the termination and gather evidence of discrimination.
An employer cannot fire a worker for taking medical leave, vacation, or time off for occasions like jury duty or voting.
If an employee signed a contract of employment when they initially got hired, their employer must honor the terms of that agreement. If the worker loses their job for reasons that violate their employment contract, they could have a valid wrongful discharge claim.
Working with a wrongful discharge lawyer could give victims of discrimination or retaliation a leg up when pursuing damages. A legal professional could offer guidance on what actions to take, what evidence to gather, and how to present an effective case.
What to Do Following Wrongful Termination
When someone gets fired for an illegal reason, they should refrain from any further contact with their former employer. They should instead review their employment agreement, if applicable, and contact an attorney in Madison County as soon as possible.
A lawyer could review the employment agreement and explain the available options. If the terminated employee has a legitimate wrongful termination claim, their lawyer may encourage them to file a lawsuit.
Damages for Illegal Termination Cases
In a wrongful termination lawsuit, an attorney could seek damages that the employer might owe the plaintiff. These could include back pay, compensation for emotional or punitive damages, legal fees, costs related to finding new employment, and other related expenses.
The court may require the employer to reinstate the terminated worker or update their internal policies to ensure their hiring and firing procedures adhere to current employment laws. This will depend on why the initial termination happened and how likely it is for another employee to be treated similarly in the future.
Work with a Madison County Wrongful Termination Attorney
Our experienced legal professionals are here to help those who have been illegally fired from their jobs. If you think you have a Madison County wrongful termination case, schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney on our team to review your options today.