Chicago Retaliation Attorney

The Nature of Retaliation

The right to be free from retaliation is valued by all, especially when that retaliation is a wrongful termination. This consensus gives retaliation claims, particularly wrongful termination ones, a greater opportunity for damage awards, often times resulting in a company facing far greater costs for retaliation than it would for the underlying violation itself.

For this reason, it is wise for a company that is accused of violating a law, whether by charge of discrimination or otherwise, to not permit retaliation against the employee that is making the claim. Companies who focus on their financial bottom lines will usually treat a complaining employee with care, making significant efforts to avoid wrongful termination and address the underlying complaint. In such companies, an employee who is careful to meet all expectations of their employer will not likely suffer from any form of retaliation. In the event that he or she does, it is unlikely to be in the form of a wrongful termination. Any employee who faces retaliation in the form of wrongful termination may have a claim against their employer.

Wrongful Termination as a Form of Retaliation

When it comes to retaliation claims, the most common form of retaliation is wrongful termination. Since laws such as the FMLA are filed directly in Federal Court, retaliation and wrongful termination claims brought under those laws are not filed with the EEOC. However, since retaliation and retaliatory wrongful termination are forms of discrimination, they are subject to very similar rules and are proven by the same methods: direct and indirect (See Discrimination). In these claims, the only difference in the indirect method is that the employee will need to show three things:

  1. a basis for the retaliation, meaning that the employee took some sort of action, such as filing a case against the company
  2. an adverse act such as wrongful termination and
  3. some causal connection, which may be something as simple as the fact that the wrongful termination happened right after the company became aware of the complaint

While claims arising out of FMLA and overtime laws do not allow emotional distress damages and instead award liquidated damages instead of punitive damages (See Overtime and FMLA), these laws anti-retaliation provisions do provide for emotional distress and punitive damages. As a result, retaliation under these laws are treated in the same way as discrimination. This is an important distinction because wrongful termination can result in significant emotional distress. In some situations, particularly where wrongful termination is involved, punitive damages can be far greater than the liquidated damage value of the underlying case.

Anti-Retaliation Laws

This site discusses many laws that an employment attorney may use, including overtime laws, the FMLA, and discrimination laws; however, there are some types of claims that do not require the aid of an employment attorney. For example, employment attorneys do not typically handle worker’s compensation claims, however, when the wrongful termination is in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim, an employment attorney is necessary. If at any time you have made any claim against your employer and faced retaliation or wrongful termination as a result, you should consult with an employment attorney immediately.

To Avoid Retaliation and Wrongful Termination

If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination,are afraid to pursue your case for fear of retaliation, wrongful termination, or if you are afraid that you may suffer, or have already suffered from retaliation,you should consult with an employment attorney in order to decide on your best course of action. Speaking with an employment attorney does not mean that you must file a case, and since that consultation is entirely confidential, no one is required to be notified that you consulted with an employment attorney.

No matter what type of employment case you may have, the fear of retaliation can be particularly concerning. At Maduff & Maduff you will find our Chicago Retaliation and Wrongful Termination Attorneys will understand your fears and treat your concerns with great consideration. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.

As your Chicago overtime attorney we represent clients in a variety of areas including Housing Discrimination Attorney, Sexual Orientation Attorney and Sexual Harassment Attorney.