Employment Law Chicago Blog
7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in FMLA Lawsuit
On March 9, 2022, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer in a lawsuit filed by a former employee, who alleged that the employer violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) by terminating her employment four days after she returned to work from an FMLA leave of absence. Anderson v. Nations Lending Corporation, No. 21-1885 (7th Cir. March 9, 2022). She filed a federal lawsuit for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as for interference and retaliation under the FMLA. In an FMLA interference lawsuit, the employee has […]
Americans with Disabilities Act–Direct Threat Analysis
On February 11, 2022, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer in a disability discrimination lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Pontinen v. US Steel Corporation, No. 21-1612 (7th Cir. Feb. 11, 2022). The employer rescinded an offer of employment after determining that the potential employee’s disability–seizure disorder–posed a direct threat to himself and to others in the workplace. The 7th Circuit concluded that summary judgment was appropriate because the undisputed evidence demonstrated that the disability was not the ‘but for’ cause of the rescission of the job offer.
The ADA prohibits an […]
Retaliatory Discharge Claim for Employees who Complain about Unpaid Wages under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
On December 23, 2021, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, held that the Amended Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (the “Act”) creates a statutory cause of action for retaliatory discharge for an employee whose employment has been terminated for exercising his or her rights under the Act. Dichiarro v. Woodland Maintenance Group, LLC, et al., 2021 IL App (2d) 210418 (2nd Dist. Dec. 23, 2021). The plaintiff alleged that the defendants terminated her employment in retaliation for and because of her repeated demands for payment of unpaid wages due and owing to her under the terms and conditions of […]
What is Required to Establish a Title VII Retaliation Claim?
On December 17, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer in a lawsuit for race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”). Miller et al. v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., No. 20-3005 (7th Cir. Dec. 17, 2021). After being fired by the Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”), the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging that they were terminated because of their race and in retaliation for complaining about discrimination. The district court concluded that the racial […]
Who is a Disabled Employee under the Illinois Human Rights Act?
On November 23, 2021, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed an order of the trial court, that had dismissed the plaintiff’s disability discrimination complaint on the ground that he was not disabled within the meaning of the Illinois Human Rights Act (the “Act”). Jackson v. TSA Processing Chicago, Inc., et al., 2021 IL App (2d) 200769 (2nd Dist. Nov. 23, 2021). The plaintiff alleged that the defendants discriminated against him on the basis of his disability in violation of the Act. At issue on appeal was whether he is disabled under the Act.
The plaintiff was hired by the defendants […]
What is a Disparate Impact Employment Discrimination Claim?
On September 22, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in a Title VII disparate impact employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the Chicago Teachers Union (“CTU”) against the Board of Education of the City of Chicago (“Board”), in which the CTU alleged that 2011 mass layoffs disparately impacted African-American teachers. Chicago Teachers Union, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 20-1167 (7th Cir. Sept. 22, 2021). Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to fire or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of […]
Race, Religion, and National Origin Discrimination Claims under Title VII and the Illinois Human Rights Act.
On September 1, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer, in a Title VII and Illinois Human Rights Act employment discrimination lawsuit, in which the plaintiff, an Egyptian Muslim pharmacist, alleged that: (i) the employer failed to accommodate his need for prayer breaks; (ii) disciplined and later fired him based on his race, religion, and national origin; (iii) retaliated against him for reporting racial and religious discrimination; and (iv) subjected him to a hostile work environment based on his race, religion, and national origin. Mahran v. Advocate Christ Medical Center, et al., […]
What are the Elements of a Reverse Discrimination Claim?
On August 17, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment for an employer in a reverse race discrimination lawsuit, in which the plaintiff claimed that he fired because he is white. Bless v. Cook County Sheriff’s Office, et al., No. 20-2733 (7th Cir. Aug. 17, 2021). The plaintiff, a Cook County Illinois Sheriff’s police officer, was fired in connection with an internal review board determination that he had committed misconduct. The plaintiff sued the County, alleging reverse race discrimination and political retaliation against him as a white Republican. The protections of Title VII are not limited to […]
Title VII Retaliation Claims–Jury Instructions for Single Act of Retaliaiton Based on Multiple Acts of Protected Activity.
On August 4, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial, in a Title VII retaliation lawsuit tried before a jury in federal court. Brooks v. City of Kankakee, Illinois, No. 20-1395 (7th Cir. Aug. 4, 2021). The plaintiff, an African-American police officer, made three statements complaining that his employer, the City of Kankakee, favored white police officers. The City viewed the statements as false and disparaging. It issued a written reprimand, ordering him to stop making such statements and threatening disciplinary action […]
7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer on ADEA and Title VII Failure-to-Hire Disrimination and Retaliation Claims.
On July 20, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer on ADEA and Title VII employment discrimination and retaliation claims, in which the plaintiff alleged that the employer failed to re-hire her for various positions in the Chicago Public School System because of her age and race, as well as in retaliation for her prior discrimination complaint. Chatman v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 20-2882 (7th Cir. July 20, 2021). She alleged violations of Title VII’s anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions, as well as a violation of the anti-discrimination […]