People are terminated from their employment every day. A wrongful termination occurs when your termination violated federal, state, or local laws; the terms of an employment agreement; or for reasons that go against public policy.
A good place to start in determining if you have been wrongfully terminated, is to ask yourself the following questions:
Q: Was I subjected to discrimination due to my age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion or sex?
Q: Was I subjected to harassment? Harassment can include offensive comments – not simple teasing or one-time comments – about your age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion or sex. Harassment can also include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or your employer seeking to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with you in exchange for preferential treatment at work.
Q: Was I the victim of retaliation? Retaliation can include any materially adverse job action, such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment and it resulted from you engaging in a protected activity such as reporting an illegal behavior (e.g., discrimination, fraud, or safety violations), for participating in any investigation into potentially illegal behavior, filing a worker's compensation claim or for taking protected medical leave.
Q: Was my contract of employment breached? If your employer breaches your employment agreement it can constitute a wrongful termination. This may include written contracts, implied contracts which may be created through their employer actions or even those established in the employer's employee handbook.
It is also important to remember that you are afforded a wide variety of protections under both Federal and State laws. These laws include:
Not every termination is illegal, but if you've been fired from your job, you may want to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to see if your termination was proper. The lawyers at Holman & Stefanowicz, LLC have prepared and handled charges on behalf of employees before the Cook County Commission on Human Rights, The Illinois Department of Human Rights, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Illinois Department of Labor, The United States Department of Labor, The United States Department of Justice and have successfully litigated many employment cases in State and Federal court.