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Air quality complaint isn’t basis for retaliation claim

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The Illinois Indoor Air Quality Act is designed to reduce indoor pollution. It tasks the Illinois Board of Health with enforcing statewide indoor air quality standards, because encouraging good air quality is good public policy.

However, the law doesn’t specifically offer whistle-blower protection to employees who voice complaints about their workplace air quality. Now a court has refused to read such protection into the law.

Recent case: Erin Eiler complained that she got sick from indoor pollution at work. She was fired shortly after and sued, alleging retaliatory discharge.

But the court said that no such protection exists under the Indoor Air Quality Act. It dismissed most of her lawsuit. (Eiler v. Innophos, No. 09-C-3266, ND IL, 2010)

Final note: Still pending is Eiler’s claim that she was fired to prevent her from filing a workers’ compensation claim.

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