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College president files lawsuit over employment termination

A person starting a new job is likely aware that if one's job performance is not up to the employer's standards, he or she could be fired. Unfortunately, some people in West Virginia have found themselves facing an employment termination for unfair, and possibly illegal, reasons. One out-of-state woman has recently made such claims and filed a lawsuit against the college that fired her.

In Nov. 2015, the woman was hired to replace the retiring president. Under her contract, she started work in Jan. 2016. The contract ran through Summer 2018. However, just months into her employment, the school's trustees voted to suspend her. Approximately one month later, the trustees voted unanimously for termination.

The trustees claim that the woman was fired for a variety of reasons, including creating a hostile work environment and spending $20,000 without authorization. The woman argues that she was actually fired because she brought up concerns regarding whether the school was in compliance with certain Department of Education rules governing financial aid. She further contends that the meeting to determine whether there was just cause for termination was a farce, including the fact that she was not allowed to cross examine witnesses or question claims made against her. A board member claims that there was no conversation regarding financial aid prior to the action taken against the former president and further notes that a recent review shows that the school has always been in compliance.

In her employment termination lawsuit, the woman is claiming the the college's decision to fire her was a breach of contract, and she is seeking a variety of damages. Unfortunately, people in West Virginia may also find themselves in a situation where they are fired unjustly. In many cases, filing a civil lawsuit may be the only path to justice.

Source: heraldpalladium.com, "Spielvogel sues Lake Michigan College", Julie Swidwa, June 15, 2016

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