Federal Appeal Court Rejects Retaliation Claim

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling by a lower court dismissing Samone Redd's retaliation claim.  Redd was a probationary employee employed by the Cook County Department of Corrections from November, 2006 through October, 2007.  Redd was asked to resign after she failed to cooperate with an investigation.  She sued, and brought claims for retaliatory discharge, tortious interference and procedural due process.  Redd witnessed a man  attack a woman.  Redd refused to cooperate with the investigation of the crime.  The prosecutors contacted her employer about her lack of cooperation, and the Cook County Sheriff's Office launched their own investigation.  In the sheriff's office investigation, the investigator concluded that Redd violated several department rules and decided to terminate her employment.  Redd contended that she was fired because she refused to perjure herself.  The appeals court, however, rejected the claim as Redd had no evidence that her discharge was actually retaliatory. Thus, she could not demonstrate that she was fired for exercising her First Amendment rights.  The Court also rejected her other claims, noting that the sheriff's office has discretion in terminating its employees.
Categories: Employment Law