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College of New Rochelle Faces Third Lawsuit

A third former staff member, Kenya Brown, has filed a lawsuit against the College of New Rochelle regarding claims of wrongful termination and breach of contract. The lawsuit is added to another filed by an individual employee, as well as a joint suit filed in October by 14 staff members and the faculty senate and council.

Brown’s lawsuit is similar to the one filed by Veronie Lawrence, which claims the school breached contract and lied about the elimination of her position.

It has been approximately a year since the College of New Rochelle announced it was dealing with financial hardship. Over the last year it attempted to get its finances in order and used tactics that included fundraising, the sale of assets, budget cuts, and lay-offs. There was also an internal investigation into its finances that has since been turned over to the US Attorney’s office.

In the latest lawsuit, Brown claims breach of contract and states “The defendant did not assert a Declaration of Financial Exigency which would truly support the defendants’ position of being unable to meet the contract.”

Brown began working for the college in August 2007 and most recently served at the DC-37 union workers’ building, a campus that was closed by the college at the beginning of the summer. Brown is representing herself and has requested in her lawsuit the remaining amount of salary in her contract, as well as court fees and costs, and the cost for the attorney she retained in an attempt to negotiate with the college.

Have You Been Wrongfully Laid-off or Terminated?

Layoffs often occur when a college declares urgent financial hardship that threatens its survival. In some cases it is legal to terminate tenured staff, but the official process and declaration required to do so legally has not been administrated by the College of New Rochelle. According to the college, that procedure was impossible because “…“the suggested timelines set forth in the Handbook are simply impossible for the College to follow in this extraordinary circumstance.”

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, especially if your position was protected by a tenure arrangement in an educational institution, you could have a right to take legal action. If it is determined you were wrongfully laid off by your employer, you could receive compensation for your losses based on your contracted salary, as well as costs associated with taking action.

We’ve worked with employees that have been wrongfully terminated and helped them recover what they lost. For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.

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