One of the most crucial addendums to workplace policy is the whistleblower act of Illinois, which is a public policy that protects employees who make a report regarding unethical or illegal activities that are taking place within the company for which they work. If you have any knowledge of such activities, then you are protected by both state law and federal law; basically, this means you are exempt from retaliatory discharge or other attempts at retaliation.
In fact, if you are a whistleblower in Illinois, the Illinois Whistleblower & Retaliation Act prohibits your employer from discriminating against you in any way as a result of your revelations about company wrongdoing. This protection covers:
- reduction in hours,
- failure to promote,
- employment termination,
- reassignment for unspecified reasons,
- reduction in wages,
- removal of benefits or privileges,
- and any undue alteration to your original employment contract.
In addition to the above, employee harassment or any form of retaliatory action is deemed illegal by federal and state law; should your employer threaten or assault you, then you definitely have a case that should be brought to an Illinois attorney.
Whistleblower & Retaliation Act: Protected Conduct
What follows is a more comprehensive list of activities for which the Illinois Whistleblower & Retaliation Act is applicable:
- If you participate in union activity, your employer cannot retaliate against you.
- If you file an official complaint of harassment or discrimination against a manager, supervisor, or higher up – your employer is compelled by state and federal law to continue to retain you as an employee.
- If you report company wrongdoing; whether the actions were unethical or outright illegal, you cannot be terminated for the report.
- Filing a workers compensation claim is also protected under the law.
It’s important to understand that if your employer has valid reasons outside of the above, and not discernibly related to them, then it may still be possible to terminate your employment – which is why you need to retain the services of an Illinois attorney if your job is in jeopardy after a whistleblower report. Sometimes, employers may search for reasons to terminate you for reasons that are not inconsistent with your claim, and for which proof must be obtained that the underlying reason was actually retaliatory for the whistleblower report.
There are many remedies for compensation for a retaliatory discharge if it can be proven as such, making hiring a knowledgeable lawyer essential to your defense.