Statement from Rod Raymond’s attorney, Lindsay R.M. JonesThe University of Minnesota is within its rights to settle any dispute that it has with a former or current employee, regardless of the merits of the employee’s claims.
The University of Minnesota is within its rights to settle any dispute that it has with a former or current employee, regardless of the merits of the employee’s claims.
Decisions to resolve disputes for cash, such as in the
present settlement with a disgruntled former employee, who claimed that the University maintained a hostile work environment against her, are often entered into to avoid a perceived risk of bad or negative publicity, even when the disgruntled employee’s claims are perceived as frivolous. Settlements of this nature are often accepted as a cost of doing business.
The University of Minnesota is a fine institution and
certainly wants to be known for its pursuit of excellence in education and research, as opposed to responding to
salacious and frivolous controversy.
Likewise, Mr. Raymond, who has over two decades of public service with the University in the pursuit of excellence in developing programs in physical fitness and well being, as well as being internationally recognized as a triathlon athlete and trainer, and is a prominent local
entrepreneur and businessman, sought to respond to
frivolous claims against him by an employee with a history of being disgruntled with the University, by agreeing to a non-punitive dispute resolution proposal, which was recommended to him by University officials as a way for both him and the University to avoid being drawn into a public circus to protect their respective valued reputations.
Unfortunately, a handful of employees ... who disagreed with the University’s proposed dispute resolution involving Mr. Raymond, took it upon themselves as self-appointed
vigilantes to seek to force Mr. Raymond to quit or cause the University to terminate his employment out of embarrassment, by engaging in a pattern and practice of intimidation and a public smear campaign with the malicious intent of undermining Mr. Raymond’s reputation in the community, so as to render his continued employment with the University untenable.
Last fall Mr. Raymond requested a leave of absence from the University, which he has been on for the last year to address the emotional and financial toll that the actions of these rogue employees have taken on him and his business interests.
Mr. Raymond will file a lawsuit in federal district (court) within the next two weeks to seek to readdress from the conduct of the unchecked, rogue group of employees, who used their public titles and offices at the University to unfairly and maliciously deprive him of his good name and reputation in connection with his University employment.