Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Whistleblower Statute

The Illinois Appellate Court just issued an opinion clarifying the Illinois Whistleblower Statute.  Curtis Brame was a lieutentant with the North Chicago Police Department.  He brought suit against North Chicago, the mayor and police chief, alleging that the chief retaliated against him once he came forward with information that the chief was committing criminal activity.  The defendants filed motions to be dismissed from the case, and the trial court agreed.  On appeal, Brame raised an issue of first impression - whether bringing such claims directly to his employer was protected under the Act.  Previously, Illinois courts concluded that a plaintiff must bring such complaints to a third party agency.  The reviewing court agreed with the plaintiff, and held that the plain language of the act allowed him to bring such concerns directly to his employer.  We believe that this is a common sense approach to the law and will allow many more aggrieved employees access to the courts.