Getting injured on the job can lead to a lot of uncertainty, especially if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You may worry about potential repercussions at work, including the possibility of losing your job.
In Illinois, specific laws protect employees from unjust termination.
Protection under Illinois law
In Illinois, the law protects your right to file a workers’ compensation claim. The Workers’ Compensation Act states that it is unlawful for an employer to fire or threaten to fire an employee for asserting their rights under the act. This means that if you get hurt on the job and file a claim, your employer cannot legally fire you for that reason alone.
However, this does not mean you have absolute protection against termination. While your employer cannot fire you for filing a claim, they can still terminate your employment for other valid reasons. These reasons can include poor performance, misconduct or company downsizing.
What to do if you face retaliation
If you face retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you need to document every interaction you have with your employer about the matter. Keep records of emails, letters and any conversations you have about your claim. This information could become important if you need to show that your employer retaliated against you for filing a claim.
If you believe your employer has fired you or threatened to fire you because of your claim, you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor. They can investigate your complaint and, if necessary, take action against your employer.
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, know that the law protects your right to do so without fear of retaliation.