Man sues Cook County Sheriff's Department over hiring discrimination

By Robert Hadley | Aug 27, 2015

A Cook County man is suing the sheriff’s office for job discrimination related to his ethnicity, religious affiliation and sexual orientation.

Plaintiff John E. Oppenheimer filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court on Aug. 3 against the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, charging the department with bias in their decision not to hire him as a corrections officer.

In 2010, Oppenheimer applied for work as a corrections officer with the defendant, but was notified in writing of his rejection on June 15, 2011. Oppenheimer’s appeal of this decision was rejected on Aug. 4, 2011.

From 2013 onward, the plaintiff organized floats for the sheriff’s department in local gay pride parades. When the plaintiff reapplied to the sheriff’s department in 2013, he was allegedly questioned about his involvement in the gay community and the gay nightclub business. The plaintiff’s application was again rejected on Oct. 26, 2014, as was his appeal of the rejection on Oct. 30.

Attorney Frank Avila, of Chicago, is representing the defendant in a suit seeking damages in excess of $50,000, nullification of the adverse employment actions toward the plaintiff, court costs/attorney’s fees and other damages allowed by the court.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015-L-007906

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