Chicago Employment Attorney

Chicago Employment Lawyer Protecting Your Workplace Rights

Many employees face challenges or concerns in the workplace at various stages in their career, regardless of the nature of their work. If you are confronted with an employment issue, it is essential to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your options and to help you protect your rights. David Porter is a dedicated Illinois attorney who can assist you with issues such as employment contracts, termination of employment, and compensation agreements. Mr. Porter has been helping a wide range of employees in complex matters for over three decades and can offer effective solutions and sound advice. He assists people in Chicago, Naperville, Aurora, Waukegan, Joliet, and other cities in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties.

Employment Law

In most employment scenarios, the employer has an advantage over the employee. The employer not only dictates the terms of employment, such as compensation and benefits, but also can affect the employee's right to earn a living after the employment relationship ends. Employees are not without rights, however, and they are afforded protection under the law from discrimination or harassment based on certain protected traits. They also are shielded from retaliation for reporting misconduct in the workplace.

Severance

Situations can arise that require the employer and the employee to part ways. Employers are not required to provide employees with severance packages but may choose to do so in certain circumstances, such as when an employer is trying to prevent an employee from pursuing claims against the employer in the future. If you were presented with a severance agreement, you should retain a skilled Chicago employment attorney to analyze the agreement to determine whether the terms are fair and whether any essential terms are missing. Additionally, an attorney can assess the facts surrounding your employment and termination to determine whether you should seek additional compensation, regardless of whether you were terminated with or without a severance agreement.

Employment Contracts

While Illinois is an at-will employment state, in some cases, an employer will ask an employee to enter into a contract setting forth the terms of employment and the employee's duties. These contracts are typically drafted by the employer and are meant to be more beneficial to the employer than the employee. If you are contemplating working with an employer and have been asked to sign an employment contract, you should ask an employment attorney to review the contract and advise you about provisions that should be added or removed. If you previously signed an employment contract, an attorney can offer insight as to whether the agreement is likely to be enforceable.

Non-Compete/Non-Solicitation Agreements

It is not uncommon for employers that rely on their client base to produce revenue to ask employees to enter into non-compete or non-solicitation agreements. These agreements typically prevent a person from working in a certain geographical area for a specified timeframe or prohibit an employee from trying to lure clients away from the employer after the employee stops working for the employer. Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are enforceable only if they are reasonable. Under Illinois law, for this type of agreement to be reasonable, it must be no more restrictive than is necessary to protect a company’s legitimate business interests, and it must not impose unnecessary hardship on the employee. Furthermore, it must not harm the public. If you are subject to a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, or if you are considering signing an agreement, you should speak with an employment lawyer in Chicago regarding its enforceability.

Executive Compensation

High-level employees, such as financial officers, managers, executives, and licensed professionals, are subject to different employment arrangements than most individuals. For example, they may be asked to enter into specific employment contracts. However, executive employees also have skills and abilities that may afford them greater compensation packages. In many cases, employment contracts for executives can be cumbersome and complex, and unclear provisions may cause issues at a later date. Thus, it is prudent for any executive to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable employment attorney prior to entering into an employment contract or agreeing to the compensation offered by the employer. An attorney can negotiate on the employee’s behalf in pursuit of compensation that is commensurate with the employee’s capabilities.

Ongoing Employment Advice

There are numerous issues that can arise throughout the course of employment that may require the advice of an attorney. For example, an employer may attempt to change the terms of an employment contract or restrictive covenant, or an employee may need advice regarding how to interact with a difficult employer. Additionally, an employee may seek guidance on how to end an employment relationship or how a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement may limit his or her future employment prospects. Consulting a Chicago employment lawyer at critical junctures can help you decide which steps you should take to further your career.

Unemployment Hearings

If you were terminated from your job, whether you are eligible for unemployment compensation depends on the circumstances surrounding your employment. In cases in which an employer argues that an employee should not be entitled to unemployment compensation because the employee was fired for cause or voluntarily ended his or her employment, the Illinois Department of Employment Security will conduct a hearing to determine whether the employee should be granted compensation. Each party’s burden of proof at an unemployment hearing depends on the employer’s grounds for disputing whether compensation is owed. If you lost your job and are in jeopardy of being denied unemployment compensation, it is essential to retain an attorney to present compelling arguments on your behalf to help protect your rights.

Retaliation

Employers are prohibited under state and federal laws from retaliating against employees who report discrimination, harassment, or violations of the law or public policy. Thus, if an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee as a form of retaliation, the employer can be held liable for any damages incurred by the employee as a result. If you believe that your employer terminated you or took other actions against you in retaliation, you should contact an employment attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Seek Guidance from a Knowledgeable Employment Attorney in Chicago

If you are confronted with an employment dispute or a complex legal question regarding your workplace rights, you should make sure that you understand your options for protecting your interests and advancing your career. Attorney David Porter has been assisting Illinois residents with employment matters for more than three decades and knows how to resolve a wide range of complex issues. You can contact Mr. Porter at (312) 236-1207 or through the online form to schedule a meeting at no cost to you.

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