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August 10, 2022

IDOC and CMS Sued Over Shots, Masking, Testing Policies In Christian County Court –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 18, 2022

Christian County, IL. (ECWd) –

Several state employees sued the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services in Christian County Circuit Court last week. There are alleging violations of the statutory rights to not have their bodies subjected to invasive procedures of vaccination or testing absent first having been provided due process of law,

From amongst the Complaint:

  • An employee who is represented by a union has the right to pursue both their contractual rights and their statutory rights. Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, (1974)
  • Moreover, the rights of individuals provided to them under the law cannot be waived by the collective representation of the union
  • Statutory rights of individuals cannot be waived by the employer and the workers union. Barrentine v. Arkansas-Best Freight System, Inc.
  • Furthermore, statutory claims are not barred even if prior efforts had been undertaken in the arbitration process
  • As directed by Governor Pritzker, IDOC management demanded the State Employees participate in being vaccinated or otherwise agree to testing to allegedly limit the spread of COVID-19, subject to bargaining
  • While Plaintiffs played no role in the process, the union representatives of the State Employees engaged in interest arbitration which resulted in a final opinion and award
  • The Illinois legislature vested IDPH, and not the Defendants, with authority on matters of public health, and has further granted IDPH the ability to delegate that authority only to certified local health departments, which IDPH has in fact done
  • The Defendants have no lawful authority to compel the State Employees to vaccinate or test to allegedly prevent the spread of an infectious disease
  • It would be an absurd proposition for the Defendants to suggest the certified local health departments are required to obtain consent of the State Employees, or a court order, yet the Defendants can somehow disregard this same procedural and substantive due process to force vaccination or testing upon the State Employees to limit the spread of an infectious disease
  • The State Employees have rights under the Illinois Constitution, which have been codified in statute, to not have their bodies subjected to invasive procedures of vaccination or testing absent first having been provided due process of law
  • Regardless of whether or not the arbitrator had jurisdiction to enter the award compelling the State Employees to submit their bodies to vaccination or testing, that award does not preclude this Court from upholding the statutory rights of the State Employees

Plaintiffs are also seeking a Temporary Restraining Order (here), with a hearing on the TRO schedule for Friday, April 22, 2022.

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2 Comments
  • Jody Oltman
    Posted at 11:12h, 18 April

    I was just suspended for a week without pay from IDHS for refusing to wear a mask while in the office on a two week scheduled rotation. We are supposed to wear a mask while seeing clients which would be all day in the Peoria office outside of our lunch time. Clients do not have to mask and we are behind plexiglass when we see them. Workers who do not see clients do not have to mask. I notified the IDHS Secretary in advance of the laws she was violating but she apparently thinks she is above the law.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 12:00h, 18 April

    It’s about time. Calling them out on their incompetence is long overdue.

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