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Employee Termination: Preventing Conflict and Protecting Your Rights

Posted on in Terminating Employees

employee termination in Illinois, Arlington Heights business lawyersEmployee termination is never an easy task, even when the grounds for firing are legitimate and indisputable. Letting a team member go can stir up a number of mixed feelings amongst your staff and can prove to be difficult for the person being terminated as well as the management team involved in the termination process.

Although conflict is inevitable in the workplace, as an employer it is important to reduce tension and prevent any problems before they arise whenever possible. Being prepared and knowledgeable about proper business etiquette and legal requirements can go a long way when you are given no choice but to let someone go.


Employers may not terminate employees based on any discriminating factors, including race, religion, sex, color, or ancestry. Other discrimination factors include citizenship status, age, marital status, or physical or mental handicap. Additionally, employers may not terminate anyone due to military status or an unfavorable military discharge.

Despite these restrictions, however, Illinois is an "employment-at-will" state. This means that an employer has the right to terminate an employee at any time, without any reason or cause. This right goes both ways: An employee can quit and end the working relationship at any time, without any reason or cause. The employment-at-will doctrine also gives employees and employers alike the right to quit or terminate employment without providing a two-week notice.

Tips for Preventing Conflict

Along with adhering to these state guidelines, employers can take a proactive approach to preventing conflict in the workplace before it happens. Written documentation and communication are both very effective tools when it comes to the termination process. If your business does not already have a disciplinary protocol in place, it is a good idea to implement structure in this area. Write-ups, verbal warnings, and communication with fellow management are all key to professionally and accurately documenting any employee conflict for future reference.

The Illinois Department of Labor upholds these standards in order to protect both employees and their employers, but understandably, the termination process can still raise many questions and concerns. Should you need guidance navigating the termination of an employee or have found yourself in the midst of a termination-related conflict, it is wise to connect with an experienced Arlington Heights business law attorney. Contact A. Traub & Associates at 847-749-4182 today for an initial consultation.


Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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