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Illinois Whistleblower Law and Employer Retaliation

JMF Law > Illinois Whistleblower Law and Employer Retaliation

Illinois is an at-will employment state that generally gives an employer the right to discharge a worker for any or no reason. However, the Illinois Whistleblower Act prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who refuses to participate in any wrongdoing or those who expose fraudulent activities to a state of governmental agency.


What is the Illinois Whistleblower Act?


In 1991, the state of Illinois created and enacted the Illinois Whistleblower Act to allow employees to expose any illegal activities by their employers without fear of retribution. Under the Act, employees are protected from employer retaliation, such as firing, demotion, or other adverse employment actions.


The Act protects any employee who engages in a wide variety of activities, including without limitation:


  • Complaining to an outside agency about a potentially unlawful activity;
  • Reporting concerns to government officials and law enforcement agencies;
  • Supporting a colleague who raises concerns about the unlawful activities in the workplace;
  • Being a supporting witness or otherwise participating in a lawsuit brought by another coworker against the employer;
  • Raising concerns about harassment in the workplace;
  • Raising concerns about safety issues in the workplace;
  • Raising concerns about an employer’s financial practices that appear to be unlawful

How Does Illinois’ Whistleblower Protection Law Work?


For an employee to be protected under the Act, he or she must have a reasonable cause to believe that the employer has violated a federal or state law, rule, or regulation.


If you believe that your employer has engaged in activities or conduct that you reasonably believe constitute a violation of a state or federal law or regulation, and you have reported or are intending to report this misconduct to an outside agency, please contact the Law Office of Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. at 312-357-1431 for a free consultation.