There is a basic premise under Illinois employment law that you can be filed at any time, for any reason, as long as it doesn’t violate a contract (e.g. you are in a union) or an illegal reason such as your race, religion, gender, age, etc. So you can be fired for an unfair reason, a false reason or anything that isn’t illegal. This includes being let go because you make too much money.
Say for example, a man has been at a construction job for 25 years. He is now 50 years old. He has always received excellent feedback from his supervisors and has moved up the chain of command as far as possible due to his work ethic and commitment to the company. Along with those steps up in the chain of command have come pay raises. Then on his 26th yearly review, he is given horrible feedback, and denied an annual raise. He later hears from his co-worker that they are starting to scale back the higher wage earners who happen to be mostly old-timers because they cost the company too much in benefits and salary. Giving poor employee reviews is simply the first step in trying to get rid of the people who make more than the younger people coming on board new with the company.
While it may seem like a no brainer that this is age discrimination, unless you have actual proof there is no case for legal action. Unfortunately, there’s no case at all unless it can be proven discrimination which is easy to suspect, but harder to actually prove. There are no laws about a company that lies to its employees during evaluation. There are no laws that guarantee you must be treated nicely or that everything that happens on a daily basis will be fair. There are laws and Court rulings that say a higher rate of pay and age are not correlated. Therefore, it isn’t a no brainer at all. In the above scenario, there is no evidence of age discrimination available without a statement that they are getting rid of you because you are too old or something else that actually proves what you suspect is actually true.
If you DO have actual evidence that you were terminated due to your age, race, gender or religion, please contact us to review the facts of your case. We can put you in touch with a qualified attorney in your area to help put your best interests first. And if you just have questions, call us too. It’s always free to speak with one of our lawyers.