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Posted On: February 5, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Illinois Supreme Court Addresses Retaliatory Discharge Claim

The Illinois Supreme Court in Blount v. Stroud addressed the issue of whether or not Illinois courts have jurisdiction to hear claims brought under the Federal Civil Rights Act. In that case the Court held that employees are not required to file a claim with the Illinois Human Rights Commission even if the alleged conduct also violates provisions of the Illinois Human Rights Act. In this case the cause of action was based on retaliation.

Additionally, a claim by a former employee that she was fired for refusing to commit perjury
states a cause of action for retaliatory discharge under Illinois law. The Court went on to say that because a jury found for the plaintiff on a 42 U.S.C. 1981 claim and awarded damages in excess of $3,000,000, the trial court was justified in awarding attorneys’ fees under federal law in the amount of $1,182,832--basing their decision on the fact that the plaintiff prevailed on her claim.

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