Nevada v. Hibbs: An Unsound Departure from the States' Rights Trend
October 1, 2003Amelia W. Koch, Steven F. Griffith
In 1997, William Hibbs, an employee of Nevada’s Department of Human Resources, sought leave to care for his wife while she recovered from an automobile accident and surgery. When Hibbs felt the leave granted by the State did not comport with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), he filed suit. The District Court dismissed the suit on grounds that Nevada was immune from damage suits under the FMLA pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Ninth Circuit reversed and the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to resolve a split amongst the circuits on the Eleventh Amendment/FMLA issue.