WVU wants to dismiss former professor's termination lawsuit

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 4, 2015

CLARKSBURG – West Virginia University has filed a motion to dismiss in a termination lawsuit alleging failure to state a claim. Dismissal is warranted because plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and because she has also failed to avail herself of the exclusive remedy available to her, according to the motion filed in the U.S.


CLARKSBURG – West Virginia University has filed a motion to dismiss in a termination lawsuit alleging failure to state a claim.

Dismissal is warranted because plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and because she has also failed to avail herself of the exclusive remedy available to her, according to the motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

"Independently, Counts I-III of plaintiff's complaint fail because the statute and regulation upon which she relies do not create private causes of action for which relief can be granted," the motion states. "Finally, Count IV of plaintiff's complaint fails because plaintiff does not have a separate constitutional cause of action concerning WVUBOG's decision not to reappoint her to an administrative position."

Robin Jones was employed by WVU for approximately 40 years as an assistant professor, according to a complaint initially filed July 24 in Monongalia Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Sept. 4.

Jones claims she was a resident faculty leader and on Dec. 2, she was notified that her secondary appointment as a RFL would not be renewed for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

On Dec. 16, she filed a level-one grievance challenging the non-renewal of her RFL appointment, consistent with statutory rights granted to her under the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Procedure, according to the suit.

In support of her grievance, Jones claimed that the non-renewal of her appointment violated the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission's procedural rules, according to the suit.

Jones claims after the level-one conference was conducted on Jan. 26, her grievance was denied by written order on Feb. 12.

On April 1, Jones was provided a termination letter after 40 years as a professor at the university, according to the suit.

Jones claims the letter did not give any reasons for her termination.

The defendant retaliated against Jones for filing the grievance and was in direct violation of West Virginia code, according to the suit.

Jones claims the defendant wrongfully discharged her from her employment with the university.

Jones is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Sean W. Cook of Meyer Ford Glasser & Radman PLLC.

WVU is represented by Susan L. Deniker and Allison B. Williams of Steptoe & Johnson.

The case is assigned to District Judge Irene M. Keeley.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:15-cv-00154

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Organizations in this Story

Meyer, Ford, Glasser & Radman, PLLC Steptoe & Johnson PLLC West Virginia University

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