590E-SYLLABUS-SPRING-2018 1.0.pdf

Thus this court has held that if a common law action

Info icon This preview shows pages 64–66. Sign up to view the full content.

Thus, this court has held that if a common law action is in essence one which seeks redress for a "civil rights violation" as defined by the Act and there is no basis for the action other than the Act, the circuit court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim. Geise, 159 Ill. 2d at 516; Mein v. Masonite Corp., 109 Ill. 2d 1, 7 (1985). But does the Act preclude the circuit court from exercising jurisdiction over all tort claims factually related to incidents of sexual harassment? Our appellate court answered "yes," construing Geise as barring the circuit court from hearing any claim of intentional tort
Image of page 64

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 65 | P a g e related to allegations of sexual harassment. 282 Ill. App. 3d at 585. The appellate court’s reading of Geise, however, is overly broad. In Geise, the plaintiff alleged that her employer negligently hired and retained a manager who sexually harassed the plaintiff. Geise, 159 Ill. 2d at 511-12. This court observed that, but for the Act’s proscription against sexual harassment, the plaintiff would have had no legally cognizable claim against her employer. Geise, 159 Ill. 2d at 517. Although the plaintiff in Geise dressed her claims as "negligent hiring" and "negligent retention," the allegations of negligence on the part of the employer were premised on the allegation that the employer hired and retained a manager who engaged in sexual harassment. Geise, 159 Ill. 2d at 518. Absent the Act's prohibition of sexual harassment, the employer's hiring and retention of an employee whose conduct created a hostile work environment would not have been an actionable tort. That is to say, in Geise the Act furnished the legal duty that the defendant was alleged to have breached. This court held that such tort claims were in essence claims of a "civil rights violation" and, accordingly, could only be brought before the Commission. Geise, 159 Ill. 2d at 518. The rule from Geise is not that the Act precludes the circuit court from exercising jurisdiction over all tort claims related to sexual harassment. Rather, whether the circuit court may exercise jurisdiction over a tort claim depends upon whether the tort claim is inextricably linked to a civil rights violation such that there is no independent basis for the action apart from the Act itself. The issue in this case then is whether the plaintiff's claims of assault, battery and false imprisonment are inextricably linked to her claim of sexual harassment. Clearly under the standard of Geise they are not. The sexual harassment aspect of this case is merely incidental to what are otherwise ordinary common law tort claims. The plaintiff here has alleged facts sufficient to establish the elements of assault, battery and false imprisonment. These are long- recognized tort actions which exist wholly separate and apart from a cause of action for sexual harassment under the Act. To the extent that the plaintiff has alleged the elements of each of these torts without reference to legal duties created by the Act, she has established a basis for imposing liability on the defendants independent of the Act. Therefore, the plaintiff's tort claims
Image of page 65
Image of page 66
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern