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Employment At-Will: Illinois

Employment At-Will requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline, Stacey Smiricky and Lindsey M. Hogan, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP


  • Illinois is an employment-at-will state, meaning that all employment relationships are presumed to be at-will. See Employment-At-Will Doctrine, Generally.
  • There are several exceptions to the general principle of employment-at-will in Illinois. See Exceptions to Employment-At-Will.
  • Offer letters and other documents should reiterate an employee's at-will status in order to protect the employer from liability. Verbal Contracts.
  • Employers should draft their handbooks carefully to avoid creating contractual rights of job protection, grounds for termination and enforcement by employees. See Employee Handbooks.