Attorney Defending Employers in Discrimination and Wrongful Termination Cases in Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg

Rolling Meadows Employment Law Attorney

In today's litigious society, employees can be quick to levy charges of wrongful termination, harassment, or discrimination. Employers may feel compelled to pay settlements rather than defend themselves in these types of legal disputes. However, if you know how to counter these types of claims, you can often get an employee to back down from a frivolous claim.

Brian M. Krause will provide the advice you need to handle employee complaints more effectively. With nearly a decade of experience in the practice of business law, attorney Krause has the determination and skill to defend you and your company against claims of wrongful termination, hiring bias, or a hostile work environment.

An employee may allege that they were unlawfully terminated, denied a promotion, or were subject to disparate treatment on the basis of sex, race, nationality, religion, age, disability, or another legally protected class. Employees may also complain that they received unfair treatment in retaliation for filing a worker's compensation claim or taking some other legally protected action. Attorney Krause defends employers in all of these types of cases.

Illinois Law vs. Federal Law on Employer Discrimination and Harassment

Illinois employees can file discrimination claims with either the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Claims must generally be filed within 300 days of an incident.

Note that some Illinois anti-discrimination laws apply more broadly than the comparable federal laws. Federal discrimination laws generally apply only to employers with 15 or more employees, except that the age discrimination law applies only to employers with 20 or more employees. The IDHR, on the other hand, can investigate charges of sexual harassment and disability discrimination if you have just one employee, and it can investigate age discrimination claims, as well as all other discrimination claims, if you have at least 15 employees.

Defenses Against Employee Claims of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

Discrimination claims often arise when an employee is terminated or disciplined. Having clear employment policies and following them consistently can help prevent claims from being filed.

If a current or former employee does file a claim against you or your business, some possible defenses include:

  • The employee was terminated or disciplined for unsatisfactory job performance, which you can specifically document.
  • The employee's claim of disparate treatment is not based on a valid comparator. A claim of disparate treatment requires a comparison to another "similarly situated" employee of a different race (or other class) who was not disciplined or fired for the same behavior. We can often identify material differences between the employee complaining of disparate treatment and the employee cited as a comparator.
  • The employee's claim of sexual harassment involves "unwelcome conduct" that, while it may be offensive, is not "severe and ongoing" to the point that it creates a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
  • The employee's claim was not filed within the time limit.

Employer Defense Lawyer in Hoffman Estates

Brian M. Krause provides effective and affordable legal assistance to clients in Cook County including the communities of Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Barrington, South Barrington, Hanover Park, and Chicago. Contact us in our Hoffman Estates office at 815-744-6550.