Former Moline Illinois Public Library Worker Gets $1 Million for Retaliation Lawsuit
Mary Clark a former Moline Public Library worker settled her retaliation lawsuit with the city of Moline for $1 million. According to published reports Clark who worked for the library for 24-years, claimed Leslie Kee a retired library director fired her in retaliation for complaints she made against the director. It all started back in 2008 when Clark complained to the library board alleging Kee was creating a hostile work environment, and acting in a vulgar and offensive manner. The lawsuit claimed that Kee and the City of Moline were discriminating based on sexual harassment, racial discrimination and national origin. In cases like this it is not unusual to have multiple claims of discrimination. She is basically saying I complained about all these types of behavior and as a result I was retaliated against by being fired.
After the complaint to the board Kee was reprimanded for her behavior and one month later, Kee recommended to the library board that Clark’s position be eliminated to save money. Clark was fired and based on the close proximity to her complaint, one could see the retaliation. The city was fighting the lawsuit but statements began to emerge that hurt the city's case and they decided to settle. You can see how important it is to have documents that are favorable to your case. In this case, a million dollar settlement was reached because of the documents.
“The city and insurance company were surprised and disappointed by the content of those statements,” city officials said.
In Illinois prior to filing a lawsuit in state or federal court you must first file a complaint with either the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). I've filed with both agencies and depending on the facts of the case, I usually file with the IDHR. One good thing about filing in Illinois, if you file with the IDHR, they will cross-file with the EEOC thereby giving you multiple options when you decide to file your lawsuit.