What rights do I have regarding a wrongful termination case?

I started working at my job 6 months ago. During my duration there my superior has been rude, unreasonable and deliberately excluding me from any type of training, company emails and conversation, etc. I don’t fee like I’ve been given the opportunity to excel in my position due to lack of exposure of my role and a tense work environment. She has sat down with me 3 times to talk about my performance, HR was never involved. 2 weeks ago I was given a 30 day performance review. The day before I sent a complaint letter to HR and other coworkers have complained as well. HR has not responded.

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A wrongful termination suit involves proof that an employer either treated an employee unfairly or terminated an employee because for a "wrong reason."  These reasons have to have something illegal as the basis.  For example, if your employer was asking you lie during an OSHA investigation and you refused, the termination or ill-treatment would be wrongful because it was based on an illegal purpose.  It wouldn't matter that HR did or did not do something.  The motive is what controls.

The facts you describe certainly show ill treatment.  At the very least, you probably have a manager that doesn't understand the difference between being a "manager" and being a true "leader."  Corporate America is littered with bad managers who just don't understand that being jerks to their people is a demotivating leadership technique.  Without more than this, you don't have a wrongful termination suit.  If you can show that the behavior was motivated by the illegal purpose, then you could file suit for lost wages, interest on those wages, and general punitive damages. 

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