and Fourteenth amendment rights to free speech were violated
by her discharge because the hospital was a private employer,
and, thus, the discharge involved no "state action." By
contrast, here, the City of Chicago plainly is a public
employer, and defendants' conduct clearly constitutes state
action. Although they go to great lengths to place everything
else in the complaint at issue, even defendants are not so
bold as to contend that their activities do not constitute
Second, defendants argue that plaintiffs similarly cannot
base the violation of public policy on their claims of
race-based discrimination. They state that "[e]ven if the tort
of retaliatory discharge were available under Illinois law for
a discharge allegedly in retaliation for the employee's
conduct in opposing discriminatory employment policies, which
is doubtful at best, that would not support a cause of action
where, as here, no retaliation for race related conduct is
alleged." (Defendants' Reply Brief at 11; citation omitted;
emphasis in original.) This argument adds nothing, however,
because it addresses a claim which the plaintiffs do not make
anywhere in Count IV. Plaintiffs' claim for retaliatory
discharge is limited to the statement that "these plaintiffs
were good and loyal employees of the City of Chicago during
their employment, but were nonetheless unfairly discharged in
retaliation for the exercise by them of their rights to free
association and their rights to campaign for candidates of
their choice in violation of the statute and Public Policy of
the United States and the State of Illinois." (Complaint, ¶
This Court need not decide whether plaintiffs have alleged
a cognizable Illinois claim for retaliatory discharge in
violation of a clearly mandated public policy, however,
because as defendants point out, the doctrine of retaliatory
discharge does not apply where a cause of action is available
under federal or state civil rights laws to enforce the public
policy allegedly contravened. Brudnicki v. General Electric
Co., 535 F. Supp. 84, 89 (N.D.Ill. 1982); accord, Bruffett v.
Warner Communications, Inc., 692 F.2d 910, 919-20 (3d Cir.
1982); Tate v. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co., 32
Empl.Prac.Dec. (CCH) ¶ 33,951 at p. 31, 512 (E.D.Wis. 1983),
aff'd mem., 742 F.2d 1459, 35 Empl.Prac.Dec. (CCH) ¶ 34,697
(7th Cir. 1984). Both Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provide
causes of action for wrongful discharge based on political
activity or on racial discrimination. This Court thus need not
decide novel and complex issues of state law, see Carrillo v.
Illinois Bell Telephone Co., 538 F. Supp. 793, 799 (N.D.Ill.
1982), because Count IV of the complaint is dismissed for the
reason that the plaintiffs' state law retaliatory discharge
claim is foreclosed by the availability of other claims under
the federal and state civil rights laws.
Count V — Civil Rights
In Count V of the complaint, plaintiffs allege that by
terminating them for engaging in protected political activity
opposing Mayor Washington and because of their race,
defendants violated their First, Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988.
Defendants' first contention that Count V must be dismissed for
failure to state a claim because the allegations of the
complaint are conclusory and non-fact specific has already been
disposed of in discussing similar arguments by defendants for
dismissing Count II. No further discussion is necessary except
that it is appropriate to note that defendants' citations to
cases generally involving the dismissal of non-tenured
university teachers are not on point. See, e.g., Dewey v.
University of New Hampshire, 694 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1982), cert.
denied, 461 U.S. 944, 103 S.Ct. 2121, 77 L.Ed.2d 1301 (1983);
Fisher v. Flynn, 598 F.2d 663, 665 (1st Cir. 1979); Cohen v.
Illinois Institute of Technology, 581 F.2d 658, 663 (7th Cir.
1978), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 1135, 99 S.Ct. 1058, 59 L.Ed.2d
97 (1979). It is particularly ironic that defendants should
cite to such cases when they fail to even mention some of the
leading Supreme Court cases on the discharge of public
employees for exercising their First Amendment rights to engage
in political activity, such as Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347,
96 S.Ct. 2673, 49 L.Ed.2d 547 (1976) and Mount Healthy City
School District Board of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 97
S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed.2d 471 (1977).*fn6
Defendants also argue that the complaint must be dismissed
against defendants Washington and Pounian because it contains
no allegations setting forth their specific personal
involvement in the plaintiffs' terminations and against the
City of Chicago because plaintiffs have not alleged that their
injuries resulted from any municipal policy, custom, or
practice. As to the former contention, this Court is satisfied
that the complaint sufficiently alleges the personal
involvement of defendants Washington and Pounian to survive a
motion to dismiss because it alleges that together Washington
and Pounian, in both their individual and official capacities,
discharged plaintiffs for reasons purportedly stemming from a
1981 investigation, not from their job performance during the
six-month probationary period, and not even for the reasons
stated but because of their political activities and race. As
to the latter contention, it is undisputed that a municipality
may be held liable under the federal civil rights statute if
it has deprived a plaintiff of his constitutional rights
pursuant to a policy, custom, or usage of the municipality.
Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New
York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978).
Plaintiffs' allegations that they are at least eight of a
number of city employees, the total of which may exceed 100,
who were wrongfully discharged sufficiently alleges a pattern
of unconstitutional conduct based on information and belief
that others were similarly victimized by like conduct to
survive a motion to dismiss. See Auriemma, et al. v.
Washington, 601 F. Supp. 1080 (N.D.Ill. 1984).
Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss Count V of the
complaint is denied.
For the reasons set forth in this opinion, this Court grants
defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss Counts III and IV
of the complaint for failure to state a claim, but denies the
motion as to Counts I, II, and V. Count I of the complaint is
dismissed only insofar as it alleges the deprivation of a
liberty interest. Defendants' motion to strike pursuant to
Rule 12(f) is denied.