BOMA/Chicago Files Displaced Workers Lawsuit
According to their Web site. BOMA/Chicago filed a lawsuit last week in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking to strike down the Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Ordinance adopted by the Cook County Board in March 2006. The ordinance, which was sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, purports to require continued employment of building service workers upon a change of employers, e.g., sale of a building, change of contractors or outsourcing. BOMA/Chicago’s complaint for declaratory judgment seeks to strike down the ordinance on seven grounds, including:
• The county ordinance violates and is pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act;
• It violates the equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as well as the Illinois Constitution by arbitrarily and without rational basis distinguishing employers who are covered by the ordinance from those who are not;
• The ordinance is an unlawful interference with private contracts that violates both the US and the Illinois Constitutions;
• The action of the Cook County Board in adopting the ordinance exceeded the scope of the County’s authority as a home rule unit under the Illinois Constitution; and
• By exempting unionized employers, the ordinance arbitrarily discriminates in their favor and constitutes “special legislation” forbidden by the Illinois Constitution.
The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment finding the ordinance unconstitutional and both preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting Cook County from enforcing the ordinance. It can be viewed and downloaded from the BOMA/Chicago’s Advocacy Resources Web site under the heading “Employment & Labor.”
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