Maryland is the home of many fine and esteemed colleges and universities, including the Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland system (College Park, Towson, Baltimore County, Eastern Shore, Frostburg, St. Mary’s), Morgan State, St. John’s, Coppin and several others.
Lebau & Neuworth is often called upon to represent college and university staff, faculty and administrators in employment matters.
Institutions of higher learning are not immune to “market forces” – with reduced funding for basic learning and research, it is not uncommon for staff, faculty and administrators to be subject to precarious employment issues, including possible layoff, renegotiation of contracts, increased workload and grant funding requirements. Lebau & Neuworth lawyers can help you navigate these thorny issues.
Most colleges and university have detailed policies and procedures governing faculty issues, which should be the first area of inquiry when facing an employment issue or dispute. For example, tenure denials can be devastating to one’s career and someone experiencing this must very carefully follow the appeal process and obtaining legal counsel is very much advisable.
Administrators and staff often do not have the benefit of detailed policies and procedures governing employment matters. Hence, they often are in a more difficult position, with their employer having greater discretion.
When facing possible termination, it is important to make sure that the employer will not undermine job search efforts. Often times, parties can agree to mutually acceptable reference statements.
Colleges and universities are subject to the same laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. The discrimination existing in these institutions can oftentimes be very subtle. Cultural biases are implicit and often play a part in advancement and leadership decisions.
At times, overzealous attempts at diversity may result in reverse discrimination.
All colleges and universities are required to have an EEO office and all have personnel or human resource departments. However, remember that their allegiance is to the institution, not to the employee. Therefore, consideration should be given to consulting an attorney with knowledge in employment and higher education law – BEFORE invoking an internal complaint process.
If you need assistance with an employment issue involving a high-education facility, contact the experienced attorneys at Lebau & Neuworth for the proper guidance at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.