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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

No Evidence of Gender or Political Discrimination Where Candidate Did Not Properly Apply for Transfer

A special agent (Agent I) working for the state liquor commission in Cook County sued the state of Illinois after she did not get a transfer position in southern Illinois. She alleged that the state discriminated against her based on her political affiliation (she describes herself as a pro-life conservative, who votes Republican) and her gender. 

Her complaint alleged that after she learned that an Agent II in southern Illinois intended to retire, she purchased a home and then sent a letter to her supervisor requesting that she be transferred to fill this position. Her supervisor responded that plaintiff had to follow the required procedures for requesting a transfer, including filing an official transfer request, submitting a bid form, and an application form. Although she did file a transfer request form, her form was undated, unsigned, and was incomplete. She did not, however, apply for the position when the position was posted, and the position was filled after interviews by a Democrat candidate.

After the position was filled, plaintiff sued the state, claiming violations of her First Amendment right to political affiliation and gender discrimination. The district court and Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of the state, finding that she did not establish either claim.  Instead, the courts noted that her failure to apply for the position or submit a formal transfer request were fatal to her claim because the evidence showed that she did not receive the transfer because she did not apply for the job. Bisluk v. Hamer, (7th Cir. September 9, 2015). 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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