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Employee Discipline: Illinois

Employee Discipline 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 Hogan, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP


  • Employers' standards can be established by various sources and set out in various locations. See The Process of Discipline.
  • Illinois has specific requirements and limitations with regard to employee discipline and related investigations. See When to Investigate Employee Behavior in Advance of Discipline.
  • Illinois law protects employee privacy rights, including imposing limitations on the use of polygraph or lie detector tests and recording conversations. See Privacy Concerns in Investigations.
  • State law addresses disciplinary issues associated with many common situations, such as absences due to protected leave, disclosure of confidential business information and employee rights to certain inventions. See Specific Discipline Situations.
  • Employers should be aware of the potential for claims that a disciplined or terminated employee could bring, such as engagement in protected activities, defamation claims, and the confidentiality of disciplinary communications. See Discipline Considerations.
  • E-cigarette use is banned in certain areas. See E-Cigarettes.
  • Localities including Chicago, Evanston and Cook County have requirements pertaining to employee discipline. See Local Requirements.