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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tort Immunity Act Limitation Period Not Apply to Wage Act Claim

Plaintiff was employed by Winnebago County for nearly 20 years. When he left his job in 2007, he claims he was not compensated for 526 hours of unused vacation time.  In 2016, he filed a lawsuit against the County under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (Wage Act), seeking $30,142.43 for his unpaid, unused vacation time. 

The County filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the lawsuit was filed too late because it was not filed within the one year limitation period established by the Illinois Tort Immunity Act. The trial court ruled in favor of the County and plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the County argued that the one year limitation period under the Tort Immunity Act applied because the relief being requested was monetary relief similar to damages. Plaintiff, on the other hand,  argued that the 10 year limitation period under the Wage Act applied because the relief he requested was not in the form of “damages” but instead payment of funds the County was contractually obligated to pay him. 

The appellate court agreed with the plaintiff, finding that the arguments made by plaintiff in his complaint were based on allegations that the County failed to perform a contractual obligation (payment of accrued wages). As a result, the court held that the 10-year limitations period in the Wage Act applied to his claims, so the dismissal of his case was reversed. Prorok v. Winnebago County, 2017 IL App (2d) 161032.

Post Authored by Jessi DeWalt, Ancel Glink


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