December 15, 2006
NEDELJKA BAJALO, )
) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellee, ) Cook County, Illinois,
) County Department,
) Law Division.
v. ) No. 05 L 383
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, ) Honorable
) Ronald F. Bartkowicz,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE JOSEPH GORDON delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiff, Nedeljka Bajalo, brought an action for retaliatory discharge against defendant,
Northwestern University, predicated upon defendant’s failure to renew her employment contract.
Defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings on ground that plaintiff failed to state a cause of
action because Illinois law does not recognize a claim for retaliatory discharge based upon the
failure to renew an expired employment contract. The circuit court denied defendant’s motion
on the pleadings, and certified the following question for interlocutory appeal (155 Ill. 2d R.
308): “May a contract employee who engaged in protected whistle blowing activity bring a
cause of action for retaliatory discharge when the employer fails to renew the employee’s written