How do I become a client?
If you would like to speak to an attorney at Abrahamson Rdzanek & Wilkins, please fill out the provided form on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your information or, alternatively, you can call us at (312) 263-2698 to speak with our paralegal, Jake, who will gather preliminary information from you to see if this is something our firm may be able to assist you with. If so, you will be set up for a consultation to speak directly with one of our partners. After your consultation, if you and the attorney decide to move forward, you will be presented with a fee agreement, which sets forth the terms and scope of representation.
Can I reach out to your firm if I am still working or do I need to wait until I am fired to take action?
You do not need to wait until you have been fired to reach out to our firm. In fact, it is advisable to speak with an attorney as soon as you feel you require advice about your employment situation, including if you are a current employee.
Is the consultation and any preliminary communication confidential?
Yes, your conversations with our paralegal, Jake, and your consultation are confidential.
What type of employment law does your firm practice?
Abrahamson Rdzanek & Wilkins exclusively practices employment law and has done so for over thirty years. The areas of employment law with which our firm has experience include:
Discrimination, based on race, gender, age, disability, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, citizenship status, conviction record, among other things
Reasonable accommodation for a disability
Hostile work environment or other harassment
Charges filed with agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), and Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL)
Leaves of absence
Wage and hour claims
Employees dealing with domestic, sexual, or gender violence
Payment of compensation, including earned bonuses and commissions
Employment agreements and other contracts, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
Severance or separation agreements
Emerging workplace issues
See the Practice Areas page of our website for more information.
Should I sign a severance or separation agreement?
It is advisable to speak with an attorney before signing a separation agreement. Separation agreements typically contain a release of claims, meaning that after you sign the separation agreement, you are no longer able to pursue most claims against your employer. Without being able to allege claims against your employer, it is nearly impossible to engage in negotiations with your employer for additional severance or other compensation or more favorable nonmonetary terms.
Should I negotiate my termination or other terms of employment without an attorney?
It is wise to speak with an attorney before attempting to negotiate with your potential, current, or former employer. Unfortunately, negotiating on your own before speaking with an attorney may do more harm than good. It is important to know what rights you have in order to, for example, evaluate potential claims, negotiate a contract, or form a strategy to report discrimination or retaliation to your employer. You should never sign a severance agreement or other termination papers without first consulting with an attorney.
Should I resign?
We recommend that you speak with an attorney prior to resigning so that you can be aware of your rights before taking action. Often, resignation cuts off your ability to allege damages as part of your claim and can negatively impact any negotiations with your employer.
What should I do if I have questions about a non-compete?
If you have questions about a non-compete, please call or email our office or fill out the provided form on our website to speak with an attorney.
Should I go to an agency first before talking to an attorney?
If you have not yet gone to an agency, it is wise to speak with an attorney before doing so. You may be advised to wait to file a charge at an agency if we feel it is advisable to first engage in private settlement discussions with your employer. However, if you have already filed agency charges, we can help you through that process as well as advise you how that impacts your legal claims.
Am I entitled to severance if I was fired?
No, employees are not entitled to severance pay. However, if you have a legal claim, you may be able to leverage that legal claim to receive severance or other compensation from your former employer. If you have questions about your firing or severance, please call or email our office or fill out the provided form on our website to speak with an attorney.
What is at-will employment?
Illinois is an “at will” state, meaning that you can leave your job for any reason and you can be fired for any reason. It is our primary job to determine whether you fit within any exceptions to “at will” employment and many times our clients do. For example, you could have an offer letter or employment contract that suggests you are not an employee at will. Or you can fit within one or more of many exceptions to at will employment, such as where the termination or other employment action appears to be motivated by a discriminatory or retaliatory reason as defined by the law. The list of exceptions is too long to discuss here and that, frankly, is often the primary focus of our consultation with you.
What are statutes of limitations?
Statutes of limitations are rules regarding the time in which you must bring a claim before it expires and can no longer be pursued. Oftentimes, the law requires that you file a pre-litigation charge, such as at the EEOC or IDHR, to preserve your claim before you even file a lawsuit. These statutes of limitations can be as little as 180 days from the date of the notice of discriminatory or retaliatory conduct. If you miss a statute of limitations to bring your claim, you may be without recourse to enforce your rights. This is why it is important that you take immediate action if you believe you may have been the victim of workplace discrimination or retaliation. Calling or emailing our office, or filling out the provided form on our website to schedule a consultation is the first step to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to determine what rights you may have available and when you need to take action.
What do I do if I have not been paid commissions or a bonus that is due to me?
If you have done the work to earn a bonus or commissions payment, and that payment was not made to you, you may have a claim, even if you were fired before the bonus or commissions were supposed to be paid.
Am I eligible for unemployment?
Employees are eligible for unemployment as long as they did not voluntarily resign or they were not fired for misconduct, meaning that you did not violate a rule multiple times or commit an egregious act, such as stealing, even once. Most employees who have been fired are still eligible to receive unemployment, even if they were fired for performance reasons. If you have questions about your eligibility for unemployment, please call or email our office or fill out the provided form on our website to speak with an attorney.
Am I qualified for overtime payments?
It depends on your job and responsibilities. Just because your employer has said that you do not qualify for overtime payments, that does not mean that is the case, as your employer may have misclassified you as ineligible.
What if I have questions about COBRA?
If you have questions about COBRA, please call or email our office or fill out the provided form on our website to speak with an attorney.
My boss says that I am an independent contractor. Does that mean that I am one?
It depends on your job and responsibilities. Just because your employer has said that you are an independent contractor does not mean that is the case, as your employer may have misclassified you. You should speak with an attorney to discuss this further.