Illinois Supreme Court Reverses On Human Rights Act Case
The Illinois Supreme Court in Blount v. Stroud, 2009 WL 153862 ( Ill Sup Ct. 2009), rules the Illinois Human Rights Act does not stop a party from filing an employment or civil rights action in state court. The Court held that the Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission only administer the Illinois Human Rights Act not federal law. The case involved Jerri Blout who filed a multi-count complaint in Cook County alleging retaliation under 42 USC Section 1981 and a common law claim of retaliation. The gist of her claim was that her employer wanted her to perjure herself in a discrimination case they were involved in and when she would not, she was fired. A jury awarded her $3 million plu $1 million in attorney fees and costs.
This case is good for plaintiffs as it gives one more arrow in their quiver against employers who discriminate against them and subject them to retaliation and other forms of discrimination.
Blount's lead attorney Robin Potter said " this case is monumental, particularly given the 2007 amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act that now permits those claims to be adjudicated in state court."