The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Wrongful Termination in Chicago

There are many unlawful reasons for losing a job, including getting fired in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws, labor laws, or as a form of retaliation. Wrongful termination claims are filed when an employer has fired or laid off an employee for an illegal reason. With such a claim, the former employee can collect compensation for punitive damages and lost wages.

If you need advice on an employment law issue, including wrongful termination, you should speak with a Chicago employment lawyer. Chicago employment lawyers can assess your legal issue and can tell you how to go about filing a wrongful termination claim.

Recently in Wrongful Termination Category

Ill. Prepares for Medical MJ, but Employers Can Still Fire Potheads

The public is showing a growing interest in Illinois' new medical marijuana program, The Associated Press reports.

Though the law already passed under the state's new four-year medical marijuana pilot program, it has not yet been implemented.

Here are three considerations for Illinois employers and employees to keep in mind concerning medical marijuana:

Can Workers Be Fired For Taking Family Leave?

It's the anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act which entitles eligible employees to unpaid leave should certain personal or family health issues arise.

But can workers be fired for taking family leave? Generally speaking, you can't get fired or demoted for taking FMLA leave.

But if you do get fired, your claim of FMLA retaliation will depend on a number of factors, such as the following:

7 Legal Reasons to Fire An Employee

The question of whether or not to fire an employee is a daunting predicament for employers. To make the decision simpler (or less complicated), employers should find out whether the law is on their side.

Here are seven legal reasons to fire an employee:

What Should You Know About Being a Whistleblower In Illinois?

What should you know about being a whistleblower in Illinois? Or, on the other hand, what should you know about whistleblowers as an employer?

A whistleblower is an employee who essentially tattles on their employer. The violation(s) he reports may be personal (e.g. an employment discrimination claim) or more general (e.g. illegal practices at work, like not paying for overtime).

Many states, including Illinois, have protections for whistleblowers. Here's a general breakdown:

Medical Marijuana Users Can Be Fired Over Pot, Proposed Law Says

Illinois' medical marijuana bill promises some protections for registered users, but if it's signed into law, employees can still be legally fired for using medical marijuana.

Illinois could be the 19th state to have passed medical marijuana legislation, but the proposed law -- which is currently awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature -- does little to protect medical pot users who will be subject to firings and discipline for their legal use of the drug.

Finger-Lickin' Good Results For Harassed KFC-Taco Bell Workers

A local fast food franchise settled a class-action sexual harassment case late last month, ending years of alleged harassment, legal battles with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and of course, terrible jokes. According to the EEOC, they reached a settlement agreement with Mendota Restaurants, Inc., of Mendota, Ill.

The company runs a franchised Taco Bell/KFC on Route 34. They also allegedly enabled over a year's worth of sexual harassment that included multiple sexual assaults. At least five of the women complained to the local police before this lawsuit was filed on behalf of twelve victims. The store manager at fault reportedly also stooped to retaliation by discharging or constructively discharging those who complained.

School Turnaround Program Leads To Racial Discrimination Lawsuits

The words "racism" and "discrimination" are probably giving the administrators and legal staff of Chicago Public Schools nausea at this point. Less than two weeks after a lawsuit alleged that a former principal's reforms at a Chicago school negatively impacted African-American students and staff, another lawsuit about reforms and racism has been served on the district, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

For the last decade or so, CPS has carried out a number of "turnaround" programs at underperforming schools. For each school, the entire staff is sent packing and replaced with an entirely new team. The majority of these "turnarounds" have occurred at schools in the South and West Sides. These schools also employ the majority of African-American teachers.

D.C. Circuit Overturns NLRB Ruling; Editorial Mutiny Not Protected

Every writer has been there. They compose something brilliant. In their mind it is only rivaled by the greatest works of William Faulkner himself. Then the editor gets his hands on it. The end result is either full deletion or a rewritten piece that sounds nothing like the original. Your version of "The Sound and the Fury" becomes a mere whimper of indignation.

The fact is, if you write for a reputable newspaper or blog, an editor will change your articles. The sooner one becomes accustomed to the system, the easier their job becomes.

Dillard's Settles Nationwide Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

National department store chain Dillard’s, which has three locations in Illinois, will pay $2 million and undergo significant changes to their policies regarding disabled and sick leave policies. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which brought the suit on behalf of Corina Scott, a former California employee, and an unknown number of others that may have been affected by Dillard’s policies, Dillard’s policies regarding disability leave violated a number of provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Beginning in 2005, Dillard’s adopted a new policy regarding sick leave that required employees to disclose their exact medical condition in order to be approved for leave - even if they had a doctor’s note. Those who took leave without providing specifics were terminated.

Fired Teacher Sues CPS for Racial and Disability Discrimination

Let’s pull out that old cliché about smoke and fire. This is the fourth lawsuit to be filed by a former teacher from George Washington High School since now-retired principal Florence Gonzales took over the school and instituted sweeping changes that left many teachers unemployed and the racial composition of the school drastically altered.

This lawsuit, filed by formerly tenured teacher Michelle Nelson, alleged that she was fired because she is black. A district spokesperson told the Sun-Times that Nelson was fired for cause. What was that cause? She was sleeping at her ex-husband’s house, outside of Chicago, to care for her disabled and wheelchair-bound son.