Friday, October 16th, 2015

Illinois Legislature Clarifies Severance Agreements under FOIA

Last month, Governor Rauner approved a bill making changes to Illinois’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Specifically, this new law requires that all severance agreements be discoverable pursuant to a FOIA request. As such, the new law defines a “severance agreement” as a “mutual agreement between any public body and its employee for the employee’s resignation in exchange for payment by the public body.”

As one news article indicated, the bill came in response to public outcry concerning the College of DuPage President receiving a $763,000 severance package in exchange for retiring early.

This law essentially clarifies any question that may have existed as to whether severance agreements could be discoverable under FOIA. The effective date of this new law is June 1, 2016.


Michael J. Smoron

Authors: Michael J. Smoron, Jacob Caudill