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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Court Dismisses Section 1981 Discrimination Claim Against Forest Preserve District

An employee of the Cook County Forest Preserve District sued the District (his former employer) after he was fired for having sex with a co-worker in the FPD's Aquatic Center.  His complaint alleged claims under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act for race discrimination and due process violations and Section 1981 for race discrimination in the making and enforcement of contracts.  The district court dismissed his 1983 claims because they were not brought within the 2 year statute of limitations.  The court also dismissed his Section 1981 claims because Section 1981 does not provide a remedy against government entities.  

The employee appealed to the Seventh Circuit, arguing that Section 1981 does provide a remedy for claims against government entities.  He further argued that his case should be allowed to proceed under Section 1981 because his Section 1983 claims were barred under the 2 year statute of limitations.  The Seventh Circuit disagreed, and dismissed his case in FPD in Campbell v. Cook County Forest Preserve District, (7th Cir. May 15, 2014), holding that Section 1981 does not create a private right of action against state actors. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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