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Employment Tips

Noteworthy items about Illinois Employment Law from The Coffey Law Office

  • One of the most important things to remember in Illinois, is that it is an employment “at will” state. Very simply, this means you may be fired for any reason at all – so long as it is not illegal. While it may be unfair, this is not a cause for action against your employer.
  • If you feel that you have been let go illegally, such as being fired as the result of you filing a discrimination complaint, Illinois has a statute of limitations. This means your claim has to be filed within a certain specified time period or you can’t take action on it. This is vital to discuss with your attorney.
  • If you are about to be fired or have just been let go, there are a whole lot of things that you should know in order to make sure that if you require legal representation, that you don’t jeopardize that by doing something that would not allow you a legal recourse.
  • If you are giving some thought to quitting before being fired, discuss this with an attorney first. If you don’t and just up and quit, it may damage your claim, or you may lose the right to make a claim.
  • If you are certain that you are about to be let go, now is the time to take home anything personal that belongs to you. This would include any personal emails, pictures, letters etc. You must not take anything that belongs to the company. If you’re not sure whether a document is yours, ask an attorney so you don’t risk losing your right to make a wrongful dismissal claim.
  • While the temptation to remove everything from your computer may be overwhelming, do not delete or remove anything that doesn’t belong to you. Don’t try to get into company records that you don’t have the authority to access. Doing either of these two things will get you fired and you would certainly lose any claim that may have been present against your employer.
  • If you have been let go and are being subjected to some rude and possibly intimidating behavior, remain respectful and say nothing. Whatever you say could come back to haunt you later if a judge and jury hears what you said.
  • Be aware that when you are working and for the first year after you have left your place of work, voluntarily or involuntarily, you’re entitled to a copy of your personnel records within 7 days after you ask for them. If you do not get them, you need to report that to the Illinois Department of Labor.
  • Did your employer suggest to you that if you don’t resign, you will be let go? If that is the case, chances are you are eligible for unemployment compensation, unless some form of misconduct was involved. Speaking to a qualified attorney will sort the situation out.
  • Note that a former employee has a “duty to mitigate” damages by diligently searching for comparable work within a reasonable geographic area that makes sense in light of their resume/work history/skills/ and any medical work limitations.