Judge allows grievance suit against WVU to continue

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 15, 2017

MORGANTOWN – Circuit Judge Phillip D. Gaujot has denied West Virginia University’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the former associate dean of the School of Dentistry.

The order was filed June 6 in Monongalia Circuit Court. The parties argued the motion to dismiss on March 2.

Gaujot concluded that it was apparent that Richard Jurevic has not yet been afforded any form of remedy for his allegations.

“The court finds it exceedingly incongruous for the defendant to argue that plaintiff’s proper remedy for claims arising out of his alleged forced resignation lie before the grievance board, when the grievance board has long since dismissed his claims because he resigned,” Gaujot wrote.

On April 14, 2016, Jurevic filed a formal grievance with the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board alleging breach of contract, termination of position without cause, hostile work environment, slander and job discrimination, among others.

On Sept. 16, 2016, Jurevic resigned from his employment and, on Oct. 26, 2016, he filed his lawsuit against WVU in Monongalia Circuit Court, alleging violations of the West Virginia Whistle-Blower Law, constructive retaliatory discharge and detrimental reliance.

On Dec. 9, 2016, the grievance board dismissed the plaintiff’s formal grievance stating that Jurevic did not complete the “relief sought” section on the form and that he had terminated his own employment, so the case was to be dismissed.

Jurevic never received a hearing on his formal grievance before the grievance board.

Jurevic claimed he was terminated as associate dean and eventually resigned from WVU because he expressed his concerns, including that WVU participated in research using illegal biological samples, underused federal funds and his work conditions were intolerable.

WVU asked the lawsuit be dismissed and said there was an administrative way — through the Public Employee Grievance Procedure — to address his termination.

Gaujot denied the motion to dismiss, stating that Jurevic was not required to exhaust the grievance board administrative remedies prior to bringing about his complaint.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 16-C-545

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