Aug. 10-23, 2001
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U.Va. settles with 5 fired employees

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Evaluations begin despite lack of state funds for raises

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U.Va. settles with 5 fired employees

The University worked out a resolution between the Medical Center and five former employees who were suing U.Va. on the grounds that they were fired unjustly, officials announced Aug. 5.

Attorneys representing both sides had met several times in hopes of working out an agreement. As a result, the five plaintiffs will receive a lump sum payment of $22,000 — to be allocated among them — to help cover their expenses while looking for new employment. This is equal to approximately three months of severance pay per person.

“While we believed the law supported these difficult personnel decisions,” said Paul J. Forch, general counsel for the University, “the University administration committed its lawyers to negotiating a practical resolution with the former employees and their lawyers that would provide temporary assistance to them while they pursued alternative employment.”

The plaintiffs’ firings came after the alleged sexual assaults of two patients by a Medical Center employee who had been convicted of a felony prior to being hired by the Medical Center. In the aftermath of the allegations, the Medical Center took numerous corrective steps to protect its patients, including a review of all temporary and probationary employees. It fired those employees who had

The plaintiffs were suing for back pay and for the right to return to their former jobs or similar ones at the Medical Center.

University attorneys had asked for a motion to dismiss the case, based on the fact that the employees had either temporary or probationary status — all of them having worked fewer than six months — and no contractual agreement with the University. Under state policy, both the employee and the employer are free to terminate the employment at any time during that six-month period.

Terms of the settlement also noted that there would be no attorneys’ fees, no confidentiality clauses and no job reinstatements.


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