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HR Solutions

Retaliatory Discharge a No-go for "Contractual" Employee

06/07/06

Sandy Krum worked for the Chicago Cubs as a trainer under a contract of definite duration (one year).  When the Cubs declined to renew this agreement, he sued, alleging that he was not renewed because he had blown the whistle to the Cubs GM about this and other facts showing impropriety: the head trainer had no license under the Illinois Athletic Trainers Practice Act Krum v. Chicago National League Baseball Club, Inc. d/b/a The Chicago Cubs.

The trial court dismissed Krum's suit as being preempted by the Whistleblower Act.  740 ILCS 174/1, and also ruled that the failure to renew a contract of definite duration was not a "discharge". 

The Illinois appellate court in Cook County affirmed. "...[A]bsent a statutory basis, contractual employees, such as Krum, cannot bring a claim for retaliatory discharge when employers fail to renew an employment contract."