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Former university employee says she was wrongfully terminated

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Employment Law For Employees

In Kentucky’s public and private sector, employment disputes are still unfortunately common. These situations are frequently based on the perspectives of those involved. Employers might assert that a worker violated the terms of employment. The employee, in turn, could say that he or she simply exercised their rights under the law and should not have been disciplined, much less terminated, for it. Regardless of the details, it is important to have a firm basis in the law to seek and achieve a reasonable resolution.

Kentucky State University employee files lawsuit after being fired

A woman who worked at Kentucky State University as an administrative assitant and staff regent was dismissed from her job in September. KSU claimed that she had committed “gross misconduct,” violated the school’s human resources policies and its ethics code. She has filed a lawsuit protesting the decision. She had lodged criticism against the school because of a lack of action to address its financial woes. The dismissal, according to her, was in retaliation for that. She had provided information to the public as to the financial challenges the school was facing.

In a news story that was released the day after she was terminated, she had provided text messages she had exchanged regarding KSU’s finances. In addition, since early 2020, she contacted the governor’s office, the Board Chair and other political entities. The woman is trying to be categorized as a whistleblower, which would likely protect her job. That designation is in dispute and the details of the case will dictate the decision. Once the stories about KSU’s struggles came out publicly, the school terminated her and claimed it was for cause. She had worked at KSU for more than a decade.

Employees should be aware of their rights

This case is complex in its allegations and attempts on the part of the claimant to gain whistleblower status. In many situations in which there are allegations of employment law violations, the case boils down to the worker’s status, the validity of the claims, how much evidence is available and if there was a contract or a collective bargaining agreement. The woman who is saying she was wrongfully terminated asserts she tried to alert various entities about financial problems at KSU, but achieved no results. When she finally went to the media, she lost her job. In difficult cases like this, it is imperative to have professional guidance. Those who are concerned about their workplace and status should consult with professionals on their rights and how to proceed.