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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I live in illinois and have had issues with my manager being

Customer Question

I live in illinois and have had issues with my manager being unfairly applying "rules" to all employees and not following health procedures in a restaurant. When i went to her bosses i was given an altimatum to either step away from the 'group' who was bringing up these issues and follow whatever my manager says or be terminated. Can i sue?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question and I'm sorry to hear about this situation.

I think the best thing here is to start with an explanation of the law in this area and then discuss your case in particular. In Illinois, and throughout the United States, employment law heavily favors the employer in most situations. There are certain circumstances where the law provides for a "whistleblower" protection against retaliation. However, this only applies where there is a specific statute which creates the retaliation protection. Your complaint about health procedures fall under local and state health and safety codes. There is no retaliation protection provided in this situation for you.

Unless the employee has a contract which provides that the employee may only be terminated for cause, the law will hold that the employee's right to work falls under the At Will Doctrine. The At Will Doctrine provides that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever, even if it is a false or ethically wrong reason. The only limitation on this is that an employer may not terminate an employee because of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of the employee.

In your situation, you have pointed out a violation of the health and safety code and have also pointed out that the boss is not being fair in his/her application of the work place rules. The employer's threat to terminate you if you for complaining, albeit ethically wrong, is not illegal under the applicable law.

Do you believe that the employer's actions could actually be based on illegal discrimination?