Monday, August 11, 2003

Illinois waives soverign immunity.

Via Nathan Newman:

[Illinois] H.B. 469 specifically provides protections to state workers guaranteed under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the ADA and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In addition, H.B. 469 provides state workers with all rights provided under the Fair Labor Standards Act. H.B. 469, which now is known as Public Act 93-414, permits state workers aggrieved by conduct illegal under these federal statutes to bring suits in either state circuit court or federal court.

Previously, the Supreme Court had held that states could not be sued for violations of these laws without their consent.

It's good that Illinois is willing to adhere to the same laws as private employers, however, it's not likely that every state will; rather than wait for them to do the right thing, America needs a constitutional amendment that will explicitly strip the states of their soverign immunity in cases such as these. It wouldn't be easy; another 37 states would have to agree to waive their immunity. But with the right campaign, it might pass, and the states would no longer be able to victimize their citizens in this way.