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maccmann's avatar

I may have a lawsuit against former employer, but it's a college where I received a degree. Is this a bad idea?

Asked by maccmann (659points) September 21st, 2008

I may have a labor dispute lawsuit against a former employer. It’s a college. While there I was able to get a free BS and MSEd for my wife, as well as an MS for myself. Problem being I was railroaded out and the way they did that may have actually been illegal, so I may have a suit against them. My ethical side keeps me wondering if this is “right” to do because they are also my alma mater. My beef isn’t with the entire school, just with my former boss and the HR director who pretty much orchestrated the plan to get me out of there. But the other side of me sees them doing this to others people over and over again, and also sees them constantly making their own rules, thus the planned litigation. I need input here! Thanks in advance!

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6 Answers

shilolo's avatar

I’m not sure of the connection with the free degrees (was there some sort of “understanding”, or is this a fringe benefit of working there?), but, I don’t see an ethical dilemma. Plenty of whistleblowers are people who are inherently loyal to their company, but feel put off by some inappropriate behaviors. Yours isn’t a whistleblowing situation per se (at least how you describe it), but you should pursue this if you feel you have a viable case.

Lightlyseared's avatar

look at this way… you’re doing the institution a favour by improving their standards. It is only by complaints that there can be improvement.

Poser's avatar

Are you worried that they’ll somehow nullify your degrees if you take them to court? If so, are the degrees really worth your integrity? I’d go with your conscience. I’ve found that the hardest choice to make is often the correct one.

marinelife's avatar

Please think of these events separately. You can still have good feelings for the institution and hate the situation. If they wronged you, you are entitled to redress no matter what went before.

More important is to clearly think through what a suit entails, which is long years and the need to grow a thick skin. Some people can’t do it. See what an attorney says about your chances.

Good luck.

maccmann's avatar

@Posser. I know that they can’t take my degrees away from me. It’s just sort of an ethical dilemma. I still have people there who I stay in contact with and care about and who have helped me in the past. My beef is really with the way the department I worked for and the HR director did things to get me out. They were very political and careful about it. Even let me collect unemployment. It as pretty finely crafted. But I doubt that they consulted any legal advice before doing it. So I probably have a case and the upper hand too.

marinelife's avatar

@maccmann The go for it. What is past is past. This is a separate issue. Think of it this way. Suppose someone was kind to you, say a neighbor. Suppose they even gave you a housewarming gift when you moved in. Then, one day, they borrowed a bunch of your tools and refused to give them back. Would their past kindness in any way lessen the theft? No.

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