Suing for civil rights violations is complicated. Concluding a years-long controversy regarding the termination of Ward Churchill, the Supreme Court held that the CU Regents were absolutely immune from suit for claims arising from his termination. Churchill was given 5 internal hearings, presented evidence, examined witnesses, and made arguments under a clear standard of review. The Court held that the Regents are immune from suit for their quasi-judicial decisions. Plus, CRCP 106 review can also prevent constitutional violations. The acrimony between CU and Churchill meant that reinstatement plus wages was not equitable or justified. Finally, even if the investigation was bad faith retaliation for free speech, there is no clear law on that point, so, the Regents could not know if they actually violated his Constitutional rights, and thus also had qualified immunity.
Tag Archives: Wages
Communications Workers of America, Local 7750 v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office 2012COA148 (August 30, 2012)
Unions are employers too, and, in this case, contested an award of unemployment compensation to a former employee – its president. Claimant worked for both Quest and as the union president, but was only paid by one or the other for the time spent on each job respectively. When the union merged and restructured, he lost his employment as union president. He filed for unemployment benefits from the union, which were granted. On appeal, the union argued that it only replaced Quest’s wages not that it paid “wages” itself. The union did not argue that it was not an employer or that it did not provide employment to Claimant. The court of appeals upheld the grant of benefits for two main reasons: 1) he received payment for required services on behalf of the union and, 2) failure to consider payments as wages could result in lost unemployment benefits from Quest too, by reducing available benefits.