The UW Platteville administration and UW System Legal Counsel Jennifer Lattis have violated policy in denying Dr. Burton ‘s due process rights since 2013. Here are a few highlights
Dr. Burton asked for a grievance hearing to address the bogus allegations in Throop’s letter of direction on November 12, 2014 3:15 PM.
Note: The Faculty Bylaws, Part III, Article IX, section 2 states: “The aggrieved faculty member is entitled to a hearing before the commission within twenty calendar days of the written submission of the grievance to the commission chair.” http://www.uwplatt.edu/university/documents/emp_handbook/current/Part4/facconst/partIII/article9.html (web page appendix Article IX)
On 11/12/2014 3:34 PM Dr. Burton wrote to then-dean Throop cc to Dr. Dalecki, HR director Lohmann, Chancellor Shields Shields and then Proost Den Herder saying “I am sorry, but I cannot accept your letter of direction dated Oct 28, 2014 and delivered on Oct 29, 2014. I have filed a grievance against you concerning your letter of direction and look forward to resolving the issues soon” (Dkt 54-17).
On December 1, 2014 3:54 PM then dean Throop argued that Dr. Burton should not be allowed a grievance hearing (Dkt 42-70).
Rebuttal to Throop’s request to violate Dr. Burton’s due process rights: (interactive exhibit i595d).
On December 5, 2014 3:45 PM Dr. Balachandran sent Dr. Burton an email in which he wrote “As per UWS 6.02 Grievances, ‘The Commission is authorized to establish its own procedures to investigate a grievance that it is hearing’” (exhibit 602), (exhibit 602a). However, Dr. Balachandran relied on what appears to be fraudulent authority to produce his new procedures as explained here: (interactive exhibit i617). Dr. Balachandran’s new Seriously Flawed and Discriminatory Grievance Hearing Procedures (SFDGHP) were used to deny Dr. Burton her requested grievance hearings.
On Dec 9, 2014 Dr. Chuck Cornett stated at a Faculty Senate meeting the Grievance Committee has “the governance to set their policy and procedure as a committee.” Meeting Agenda (exhibit 627a) Partial Transcript of meeting audio: (audio exhibit A29/627b) Short clip of Cornett’s statement: (audio exhibit A29a) Audio of entire meeting: (audio exhibit A29)
Cornett’s statement is untrue as shown here: (interactive exhibit i617).
On 12/10/2014 9:13 PM Dr. Burton asked for an expedited grievance hearing (Dkt 42-78, Dkt 37-15 (exhibit G)).
On 12/17/2014 1:54 PM – (exhibit 603) Dr. Burton sent an email to Dr. Bala, cc grievance panel members, asking for a fair hearing.
On 2/2/2015 9:32 AM – Dr. Balachandran sent an email to Dr. Burton (exhibit 602e-1) with an attached letter from the Grievances Commission (exhibit 602e). Note: This communication came over twenty days AFTER the twenty-day deadline for the university to conduct the grievance hearing. Still no hearing was even scheduled.
On 4/2/2015 11:31 AM - Dr. Burton received an email from Dr. Balachandran with an attachment summarizing actions taken by the Faculty Senate to update the Complaints and Grievances Commission and the Hearing Panel to hear her grievance. (Exhibits 655, 655a) He wrote “When the Hearing Panel meets, it will elect the Chair and that Chair will contact you.” Note: This communication came four and a half months after Dr. Burton filed her grievance. Still no hearing was scheduled.
On April 21, 2015 11:51 AM – Dkt 54-17. Dr. Burton received an email from Mary Rose Williams in which she wrote that the Grievance Committee had“decided to hear the grievance in September.” I replied “Just to let you know I have been back to work since last Friday.” (exhibit 668) She did not respond to Dr. Burton’s email. There was no reason to delay the hearing until the next school year. Nobody contacted Dr. Burton the following September concerning her grievance hearing for which she had been waiting for almost a year.
On 10-19-15 – Dkt 54-17 Dr. Burton sent an email withdrawing her grievance against Throop on advice of her attorney (WithdrawGrv-10-19-15). Her stated reason was “given the time that has passed and the fact that the grievance committee cannot grant the relief requested. The matter is now in the hands of federal court.” However, Dr. Burton’s attorney’s advice was not good. The matter was never in the hands of the court as Burton’s attorney had advised her.
In his decision to dismiss Dr. Burton’s case in summary judgment Judge Peterson wrote “Burton responded to the letter of direction by disputing Throop’s factual assertions and accusing Throop of misconduct. See generally Dkt. 37-15, at 30-38. She takes the same approach in opposing defendants’ motion for summary judgment, essentially inviting the court to determine whether Throop was right or wrong to write Burton the letter. But this is not the court’s role in a Title VII case. Federal courts “do not evaluate whether the stated reason [for an adverse action] was inaccurate or unfair.” Harden v. Marion Cty. Sheriff’s Dep’t, 799 F.3d 857, 864 (7th Cir. 2015) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Rather, courts look for evidence of pretext, which “involves more than just faulty reasoning or mistaken judgment on the part of the employer; it is a lie, specifically a phony reason for some action.” Id. (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, the court’s task here is to determine whether Burton has adduced evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that Throop did not sincerely believe the reasons that she gave for writing the letter of direction and pursuing further discipline.”
The university administration denied Dr. Burton a grievance hearing for almost a year but they were required to hear her grievances within twenty days. Dr. Burton withdrew her grievance after it was clear that the university would not give her a fair hearing and at the advice of her counsel, who was wrong. The court never considered whether the Letter of Direction was fair or unfair, right or wrong. These things need to be decided before the Letter of Direction can be relied on to dismiss Dr. Burton as it is in this statement of charges.