Good news for public colleges and universities: When staff blow the whistle on alleged wrongdoing and the institution has a sound policy for dealing with such allegations, the employee can’t also take the claim to federal court. The institution’s decision is final and binding.
Recent case: David Kessler was dean of the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine until he was terminated. He claimed the real reason was that he had reported financial manipulation after discovering that the school’s fiscal situation was far worse than he had been led to believe.
Kessler followed the university’s whistle-blowing process and presented his case. In the end, the committee hearing his claim dismissed it.
He sued in federal court but his case was dismissed because the university had already ruled on it. (Kessler v. Bishop, et al., No. C-08-5554, ND CA, 2011)