Online Legal Services for Illinois Employment & Job Separation Disputes

We Focus on Severance Agreements and General Releases, Workplace Discrimination, Retaliatory Discharge and Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

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We Understand Worker Protection under Federal Law

Federal employment laws don’t address personality disputes.

Still, Cynthia Pietrucha, Esq. recognizes that every employee complaint is an opportunity for a company to learn, even if it’s inter-personal improvements to help employees feel more respected and appreciated.  Cynthia prepares employees to assert their legal rights to improve working conditions, mediates disputes and counsels HR on best practices for compliance with workplace laws.

If you are facing job termination or are recently separated, our firm provides affordable legal services to Illinois employees.  Pietrucha Law can help investigate, evaluate, identify and recommend appropriate corrective actions, severance packages, monetary settlements or mediation of workplace disputes.

Our law firm helps with a wide variety of employment disputes. We routinely assist employees and employers with severance agreements, medical leave disputes, professional licensing, unemployment benefits, executive co-investment opportunities, talent agency contracts, employee misconduct, internal investigations and disability accommodations.

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  • Severance Agreements and General Releases
  • Unpaid Bonus & Commissions
  • Workplace Discrimination based on Disability, Gender, Race and Pregnancy 
  • Medical Leave Laws
  • Unemployment Benefits Eligibility Appeals

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Our trusted & experienced team will advocate for you, putting you in the best light based on the evidence available.  All bookings are subject to a conflicts of interest check.

Key Firm Accomplishments in Employment Law: (due to confidentiality, no individual names or employers listed)

 

  • Severance Agreements and General Releases
    • Negotiated increased severance pay for a casino executive VP fired after reporting discrimination 
    • Negotiated an exit strategy and severance agreement for a media professional experiencing inappropriate sexual advances by a colleague
    • Negotiated increased severance pay for a nurse fired after informing her hospital employer of a cancer recurrence
    • Negotiated an exit strategy and severance agreement for a retail beauty manager experiencing racial discrimination
    • Negotiated increased severance pay for a janitor fired from his religious employer
    • Negotiated a waiver of relocation repayment obligations and employment release agreement for an investment wholesaler
    • Negotiated an exit strategy and severance agreement for a visa-holding talent acquisition executive experiencing gender discrimination
    • Represented a human resources manager at an EEOC Mediation for workplace discrimination claims, which resulted in increased severance pay
  • Discrimination and Harassment
    • Settled a warehouse assistant‘s disability and pregnancy discrimination allegations after she was harassed for taking time off for medical care, including a threat of termination when she was taken by ambulance to the emergency room
    • Court settlement for a truck driver‘s termination lawsuit alleging racial discrimination and discriminatory discipline procedures
    • Represented a chemical safety inspector at an EEOC Mediation for workplace injury and disability discrimination claims, which resulted in increased severance pay 
    • Survived a 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for a terminated financial professional fired after reporting sexual harassment and discrimination
    • Settled a pregnant office manager‘s pregnancy discrimination case, after she was fired when she told her employer she was pregnant
    • Settled a warehouse worker‘s pregnancy discrimination case, after she was harassed for missing work for childbirth
    • Settled a medical assistant‘s pregnancy discrimination case, after she took a leave of absence due to COVID-19
    • Settled an executive CIO‘s religious and racial discrimination allegations
    • Settled a newspaper worker‘s allegations of termination based on race, after he reported a co-worker calling him the N-word
    • Court settlement for a warehouse manager who alleged sexual orientation discrimination
    • Settled a dietary specialist‘s diabetes discrimination case, after he was threatened with termination for asking to check his blood sugar
  • Unpaid Bonus and Commissions:
    • Won summary judgment for software consulting company owed unpaid compensation and commissions for independent contractor work completed worldwide
    • Settled unpaid commissions lawsuit for lighting sales executive
    • Advised a marketing executive on a co-investment opportunity offered by a private equity team
    • Settled unpaid bonus and commission wage complaint filed by a sales executive promised extra compensation
  • Job Reinstatement
    • Negotiated backpay and job reinstatement for a suburban forklift driver fired for taking time off from work to visit his minor son in the hospital
    • Negotiated return to work for disabled customer service employee instructed not to return to work until cured
    • Negotiated return to work for a disabled software developer needing a work from home accommodation
  • Unemployment Benefits Eligibility 
    • Won an unemployment appeals hearing for a suburban bank manager accused of job performance “misconduct”
    • Won an unemployment appeals hearing for a Chicago teacher accused of time and attendance “misconduct” for missing work due to hospitalization
    • Successfully appealed the denial of benefits to Board of Review for a casino worker fired for job performance “misconduct”
    • Successfully appealed the denial of benefits to Board of Review for a Board-certified oral surgeon’s assistant accused of “voluntary leave”
    • Successfully appealed the denial of benefits to Board of Review for a loan specialist accused of time and attendance “misconduct”

About Illinois Employment Laws

Illinois is an “at will” state, which means an Illinois employer can fire an employee for any reason, at any time. This is powerful as it means many bad actions by your boss, supervisor or human resources are not necessarily illegal.

In other words you must experience an illegal adverse action to take action. While every case is different, you may be surprised to find out it’s perfectly legal for the following to occur in an Illinois workplace:

  • Sudden job termination with no advance warning or real explanation
  • A job transfer or demotion after 10+ years of employment
  • Ostracism by your co-workers
  • Unpaid discretionary bonuses
  • Personality conflicts
  • A mediocre performance evaluation, not made available to other employers
  • Refusing to keep your job open after more than 6 months of leave
  • Denial of unemployment benefits for alleged “misconduct”

However, local, state and federal laws give Illinois employees rights including the right to:

  •  Proper Pay:  Standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping
  • A Safe and Healthy Workplace
  • Equal treatment in the workplace free from discrimination based on race, color, age, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, arrest record, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
  • Join with co-workers, without a union, to improve wages and working conditions
  • Be free from retaliation as punishment for engaging in protected activity
  • Medical accommodations, including a medical leave
  • Collect unemployment benefits when an employer cannot prove “misconduct” or you voluntarily leave your job for “good cause”
  • Accommodations for pregnancy, breastfeeding and sick child rights

Your employer must give you your personnel records IF you or your representative timely request them and you ask within a year of your separation

Under Illinois law, you are entitled to see your personnel records as long as you or your representative request them in a timely manner.  Our team has reviewed hundreds of employee, management and executive personnel files.  Our comprehensive review helps you recognize evidence of illegal actions to advance your case.

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