Illinois employees may know that most employment contracts across the country are at-will employments. This means that employers are free to fire anyone and employees are free to resign, without giving any notice. However, those who are contractually hired have to be dismissed according to the contractual procedure. Additionally, an employee cannot be dismissed for an illegal reason.
An employment contract usually outlines the way an individual has to be let go from work. This means they cannot generally be fired suddenly. A manager or supervisor has to follow the procedure laid out in the contract. It usually starts off with documenting any complaints the employer has with the employee and to create a plan for addressing those issues. Supervisors will also have to issue warnings to the employee, starting from a verbal one going onto more serious written ones and ending with a final warning.
The warnings should be specific, outlining the issues the employee is facing, goals to achieve to fix them and deadlines by which they should be fixed. The letter should also include consequences about not meeting the requirements, including the possibility of termination.
When an employee is fired in a way that either deviates from the contract or violates an employment law, it could become grounds for a wrongful termination suit. An illegal termination is one that is one based on racial or religious discrimination, is retaliatory, or comes after an employee refuses to engage in illegal behavior.
If someone believes their termination was illegal or was not carried out correctly, they may have a cause for wrongful termination. If their claim is successful, they may receive compensation for the damages they have suffered. To find out if one has a case, it might be beneficial to consult an attorney experienced in employment litigation.