In Chicago and in the rest of Illinois retaliation can take place for various reasons. Usually the employer will not tell you they are engaging in retaliation but rather will try to find "legitimate" reasons to discipline you or fire you. The most common reason for retaliation is an employee is seen to be "rocking the boat" by filing a discrimination claim or complaining about some discriminatory conduct.
So for example if you go to human resources and complain that your boss is hitting on you and then a week later your work seems to be called into question, this would seem to be retaliation. Additionally if you are called into human resources as part of an investigation and you are truthful and then disciplined you have a retaliation claim. Many times if an employee is truthful and the truth hurts the companies position, the company may view the employee is trouble and try to fire that employee. They do this so when the case goes to trial they can claim the fired employee is just saying things because of sour grapes. Another words, they want to portray the former employee as being not credible.
Usually, I can utilize the work history including past performance reviews to show the company is taking adverse action against you only after you filed your complaint of discrimination. You should keep in mind however that once you file a complaint with human resources or outside the company at the Illinois Department of Human Rights, you should still do your work and not give the company a reason to discipline you.
Federal law prohibits an employer from engaging in retaliation. If an employee complains about discrimination in the workplace and an employee takes any adverse action against the employee, there may be a retaliation claim. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 any employee who cooperates with an internal investigation of discrimination has protection. In Illinois the Illinois Human Rights Act also affords employees the same types of protection and makes retaliation illegal in the workplace.
Many times a supervisor or manager will punish the employee who complains of the harassment. Companies like to silence people who come forward for a variety of reasons. There are strict time limits for filing a claim of discrimination or retaliation in Illinois and it is very important to speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as you experience retaliation or discrimination. Some companies will do an internal investigation and delay the investigation beyond the time limit available for you to file your claim with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
You may be the victim of retaliation by giving truthful statements of what you witnessed. Many times an employee will be brought into an investigation and asked what he/she saw. In some instances the employer will discipline the employee for giving a truthful version of the events that took place because the employer is trying to cover their tracks. Don't be afraid to stick up for yourself and assert your rights. It is unlawful for an employer to discipline you for giving a truthful account of what takes place at work.
I represent individuals throughout in the state of Illinois when they have been terminated or otherwise had negative job actions as a result of reporting discriminatory conduct. My Chicago office is seeing a rise in retaliation claims as a result of the bad economy. Attorney Peter LaSorsa can help you with the following:
Employee rights issues;
Title VII actions;
Gender discrimination, including equal pay and promotion ("glass ceiling") matters;
Sexual orientation discrimination;
Discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
First amendment rights of free speech and protest;
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission("EEOC") complaints;
Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") complaints.
Attorney Peter LaSorsa is not afraid to fight large corporations on your behalf. If you have been discriminated against please contact me for a free consultation. I don't charge unless you recover.