Chicago, IL asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Illinois

Q: How do I prove I was discriminated against in IL?

I am a white male and took a bartending position at a Chinese restaurant. I was told I'd be making "3 grand easy", upon being hired. Turned out that I was making under minimum wage and was only receiving customers when all the other - Chinese born - employees were overwhelmed. Manager went as far to say " I will send customers your way if my servers get overwhelmed, because they need to make some cha ching!" I planned on getting a new job - applying for many during this period - and quitting, but was injured on the job and have been given 4 weeks off by a doctor. There's no way I would feel comfortable returning to this workplace when I recover. Will I be eligible for unemployment?

1 Lawyer Answer
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Naperville, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Under normal circumstances, you would have to complain to the Chinese restaurant management/HR about the perceived discrimination, giving them the opportunity to investigate or otherwise resolve the situation. However, considering Illinois restaurants/bars are going to be closed for dine-in options due to COVID-19, and you may not be able to return to your normal duties anyways at the end of the 4 weeks, it's best you see if you even need to worry about discrimination to collect unemployment, or if you will bona fide be put out of work through no fault of your own - whether COVID-19 or complications from your injury.

If you are concerned about unlawful discrimination, do not delay as your discrimination claims have deadlines.

The best way to handle any discrimination clams would be by hiring an attorney, or if you want to move forward without an attorney via the EEOC (federal agency or IDHR (state agency ) depending on the employee count at the Chinese restaurant. However, you must first notify the Chinese restaurant to put them on notice of your concerns. Best of luck!

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