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  • Nevada Department of Human Resources v. HibbsNevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs
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Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs

United States Supreme Court
538 U.S. 721 (2003)



William Hibbs (plaintiff) was an employee of the Nevada Department of Human Resources (defendant). Hibbs was fired after he failed to return to work upon notice that the Department would not extend a 12-week leave of absence to care for his wife’s medical needs. Hibbs filed suit in the federal district court claiming violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). The Department moved for summary judgment, claiming that the Eleventh Amendment barred Hibbs from bringing suit against the state and that Hibbs had no claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court granted the Department's motion, but the appellate court reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a split among the federal appellate courts regarding whether an individual could sue a state for money damages in federal court for violating the FMLA.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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