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Office of the General Counsel


Counsel's Corner


Administrative Remedies - Long v. Samson

The North Dakota Supreme Court held in Long v. Samson, reaffirming the rule that employees of higher education institutions must exhaust their administrative remedies at the university prior to bringing suit. This case, like Thompson v. Peterson, a case arising at NDSU, involved probationary faculty who, after a nonrenewal, filed a lawsuit rather than appealing to the Special Review Committee and the Standing Committee on Faculty Rights.


Military Leave

Laws and rules regarding military leave can e fairly complicated, although the basic rule is that reservists must be allowed leave for military duty and cannot be discriminated against because of their military status and leave time.


In Reed v. University of North Dakota, the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of a general release of liability and dismissed a personal injury lawsuit against UND and another defendant. In the case, a former hockey player at UND had become dehydrated during a charity road race and suffered severe injuries to his kidneys and liver. The race was a charity benefit but was also part of the hockey team's conditioning program. One of the issues of this case involved the enforceability of a release signed before the race.

Sick Leave Payout

NDSU Policy 143, and state law, provide that employees who terminate employment with 10 years of continuous state service shall receive a payroll equivalent of 10% of the dollar value of their accrued sick leave hours. This is given in a lump sum payment based on the employee's salary at the time of termination.

Volunteer Protection Act of 1997

A federal law entitled the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 was passed on June 18, 1997, with a goal to promote volunteerism by reducing the fear of liability by volunteers on behalf of nonprofit organizations and state educational institutions. The Act restricts liability of volunteers who are within the scope of their employment and who are not willful or grossly negligent. This protection does not apply, however, to acts involving motor vehicles, crimes of violence, hate crimes, sexual offenses, violations of civil rights, and cases involving intoxication.

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Last Updated: Thursday, June 11, 2009