Working in an at-will state like Illinois means employers can fire you for any reason they see fit. They do not have to provide you with prior notice before dismissing you from your position. This can make it hard for you to know if there was justification for your termination. If your employer fires you without warning, all is not lost. The law does offer you some protections against wrongful termination.
Here is a brief overview of wrongful terminations.
Your employer cannot use discrimination as a reason to fire you. No matter your race, religion, gender, disability and certain other identifying factors, you have the right to employment, assuming you meet the qualifications and other conditions. If your employer discriminates against you, report their actions. Document all incidents. Preserve and make copies of all evidence. Even if you feel embarrassed or uneasy about filing a complaint with upper management, you should inform them of your situation so they can take appropriate actions to rectify your situation.
If your employer asks you to perform an illegal act, it is in your best interest to report it. Your employer cannot legally fire you for refusing to do it. Your boss may also not dismiss you from your job as an act of retaliation for reporting actions that violate your employee rights.
Violation of contract
Review your employment contract. It should have information regarding the actions your employer must take to terminate your employment with them. If they violate that contract when firing you, you may be able to seek recourse against them.
Many at-will employers are not aware that although they have the right to terminate their employees, they cannot do so in a manner that violates the employee’s rights and the law. There are two conditions that make you eligible to file a claim against your employer for wrongful firing after discriminating against you. You must be a member of the protected class of workers and have evidence.