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FAQ - Employment Law
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FAQ – Illinois Employment Law

What does employment law include?

Employment law covers all the issues that arise in the course of employment and related to work, beginning from the point of application, to hiring and through termination or resignation. There are laws governing application for particular jobs as well as laws governing leaving a job.

Illinois is an “employment at will” state. What does that mean?

It means if there is no contract or other agreement, Illinois law permits discharge of employees with or without cause. However, there are many exceptions to the “at will” doctrine.

What is constructive discharge?

This term is used with regard to employees who leave a job because the conditions were so intolerable that they were forced to leave. Unbearable conditions may include harassment, discrimination or a negative change in pay or work that is due to reasons other than work performance.

What is the employer’s obligation to pay wages when an employee is terminated?

When employees leave their jobs all wages should be paid at the time of separation. If that is not possible due to a valid reason, then the employer should pay the wages at the next scheduled payday.

Am I entitled to severance pay when I leave my job or if I am terminated from my job?

Severance pay, absent a preexisting obligation, is not required. However, many employers offer severance pay in exchange for a release of any potential claims. If an employee has a valid claim against the employer, care must be taken so the employee is fairly compensated. In some cases, the employee may be better off filing a claim.

If I have questions about my wages, is there a State of Illinois agency I can call?

Yes, the Illinois Department of Labor, Wage and Hour division, (312-793-2800) can answer your questions.

What do I need to do if I want to continue my health care coverage when I leave my job?

You should inquire about your eligibility to continue your coverage under COBRA (federal legislation) and Illinois Continuation Coverage.

Can I lose my job if I am summoned for jury duty?

In general, employees in Illinois are protected from loss of employment due to being summoned for jury duty. However, the employee must notify the employer in a timely manner that he or she has received the jury summons.

What is the main federal law governing minimum wage and overtime payment?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) reflects the federal government’s policy on minimum wage and overtime payments. There are requirements in the Act that determine whether or not an employer is covered.

What is OSHA?

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) imposes duties on employers to maintain a safe employment environment. It should be noted that it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint with OSHA.

What is the WARN ACT?

If the employer is covered under WARN, this federal legislation provides workers with written notice in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs. There is also an Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

How do I know if have a discrimination case?

The first thing to do is to put together all the facts relating to your situation with dates and times. Whether or not there is a valid claim can depend on specific facts. There is no substitute for talking to an attorney. When you talk to the attorney be prepared to go over things in chronological order. Also be prepared to give the following information:

  • Name of employer
  • Employer location
  • Number of employees
  • Whether or not you are a union member
  • Exact information about your job
  • Date you started work
  • Reason given to you for the treatment you have received
  • Who is discriminating against you
  • First date of discrimination
  • Last date of the discrimination
  • A detailed description of the discrimination
  • Who you complained to about the discrimination, if anyone
  • What employer action was taken in response to your complaints
  • Any witnesses that might be helpful to you.

If you have been wrongfully terminated, discriminated against or have an employment issue you need to discuss, contact the Law Offices of Ross Peters. He serves clients throughout Lake County, Cook County, McHenry County, DuPage County, Will County, Boone County, and Winnebago County. Appointments are available at locations convenient for you. Please call 312-595-9595, 847-625-1854 or 888-531-7400 today.

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