Employment Discrimination Clinic Files Brief On Sovereign Immunity in the Illinois Appellate Court

July 18, 2012

The Employment Discrimination Clinic recently wrote and filed a Brief in consolidated appeal of two cases in the Illinois Appellate Court.  The Clinic’s clients each sued the State of Illinois, in its capacity as their employer, for employment discrimination.  The cases were both dismissed below on jurisdictional grounds; specifically, the State alleged and the lower courts agreed that the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevented the suits against the State from continuing. 

In the Brief, written by Cheryl Nolan (2012) under the supervision of Clinical Professor Randall Schmidt, the Clinic argues that the Illinois General Assembly effectively waived the State’s sovereign immunity in the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) when the IHRA was originally enacted in 1980.  The IHRA protects most Illinois employees, includin