Illinois law makes it retaliation to fire employees because they report dangerous or illegal activities at work—even if they are otherwise at-will employees who can be fired for any legal reason. That holds true even if those employees work on a river barge otherwise governed by federal admiralty laws.
Recent case: Dave Robinson worked as a deckhand on a Mississippi River barge. On three occasions, he reported to that crew members had used illegal drugs while on duty. Shortly after the third report, the employer fired him.
Robinson sued, claiming he was protected under two Illinois laws—the Illinois Whistleblower Act and the state’s retaliatory discharge exception to at-will employment. The barge owners claimed that since the barge operated on navigable waters, federal admiralty laws were the only laws that applied.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. It said federal laws do not preempt state laws protecting the public from unsafe acts on the waterways. The court ruled that Robinson had a claim for retaliatory discharge for reporting unsafe illegal activity. He’ll get the chance to prove to a jury that he was fired because of his complaints, and not some other legitimate reason. (Robinson v. Alter Barge Line, No. 07-1647, 7th Cir., 2008)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/4384/no-longer-adrift-illinois-retaliatory-discharge-claim-applies-on-water-too "