Employment in Illinois is considered “at-will,” which generally means that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, without any warning, for any reason or no reason at all, as long as the employer’s action is not prohibited by state or federal law. The state and federal laws prohibiting the termination of an employment relationship include laws prohibiting discrimination based on the employee’s membership in a protected class, or prohibiting retaliation for the employee’s engagement in protected activity.
Additionally, the employer and employee may enter into a binding contract to better define the terms of their relationship, and neither the employer nor the employee can end that contractual relationship outside of the methods discussed in the employment contract. Most commonly, Unions will enter into contracts on behalf of employees to provide protection for the employee’s working conditions. Contracts typically require an ending point or termination date, but may have automatic renewal provisions. Typically employment contracts define the terms and conditions of employment, like: pay rate, hours, duties, benefits, job procedures to be followed, termination requirements, grievance procedures, non-competition agreement, overtime requirements, confidentiality, and many more. If either the employer or the employee breaks the contract, the other party may be entitled to damages and may end up enforcing the contract in Court.
Should you have questions regarding the existence of an employment contract at your workplace, if you need clarification of the terms in your employment contract, if believe that your employer has violated the terms of your employment contract, or you would like assistance negotiating your employment contract, contact Jensen Law Office, LLC to speak to one of our attorneys.