What Are My Options to Handle an Employment Dispute in Cook County, Illinois?

If an employment dispute in Cook County, Illinois arises, there may be several ways that the problem can be resolved through the legal system.  Each of these options has advantages while some have significant disadvantages.  The three main options available to resolve an employment dispute in Cook County, Illinois include:


Litigation is the process of filing a lawsuit in court against another party for some grievance.  An employee may file a lawsuit because he or she believes he or she was discriminated against or wrongfully terminated.  An employer may file a lawsuit if he or she believes an employee violated confidentiality or breached an employment contract.  The litigation process is public in nature since others can view the pleadings filed and review transcripts of any hearings that occur.  It is often very expensive to litigate because each side usually has an attorney that charges by the hour.  It can also be time-consuming because it takes time to file pleadings and the other party gets time to respond with his or her own pleading.  Cases are then set for hearing. All of this depends on the number of cases pending on the judge’s calendar. A judge or jury determines who wins and the other person may be ordered to pay damages.


The parties may have entered into an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. It may be a provision in the employment contract.  Alternatively, one of the parties may recommend arbitration and the other party may agree to it.  Arbitration allows the parties to select a decision-maker, who is often someone with specialized knowledge on business and employment law.  Arbitration helps to decrease  expenses related to the process since discovery usually limits the remaining issues and the attorneys may not spend as much time on the case.  The result may be quicker.  However, the difference in cost and time-savings are not as substantial as they are with other means of resolving conflict.


Mediation is a process in which parties involved in a legal dispute work together with the help of a third party neutral to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of their case.  Mediation can often be scheduled early in the process before the parties have become too entrenched in their positions.  The only decisions that is made in the process are those to which the parties come to agreement.  The mediator does not have the power to impose a decision on the parties.