Mayor Emanuel Attempts to Expand City Whistleblower Ordinance

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has drafted an expansion of the current City of Chicago ordinance prohibiting retaliation against whistleblowers.  Since it was first enacted in 2004, the law only protected city employees from being retaliated against for making complaints about corruption.  Under the new proposal, the law would cover anyone who applied for a city permit, license, certification, financial benefit, city service, or employment and suffered retaliation for exposing wrongdoing.  The remedies for proving a violation of the law include reinstatement, an award of double backpay, and restoration of lost seniority rights.  There are certain limitations under the ordinance, however.  An aggrieved individual must file a claim notice within 30 days, and then file suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County within 6 months if the claim did not resolve.  The state of Illinois also has protection for whistleblowers.
Categories: Employment Law