a tale of working at yale

Lost & Recovered

A brief explanation of what was restored to Salome by the May 9th, 1997, settlement with Yale

When Salome was fired:

Items 3, 4, and 5 of the Agreement restore those losses and give her nearly six additional years of credit toward a pension (something like an early retirement inducement).

The terminal salary is the amount she would have had if her reclassification had gone through. The $12,000 makes up for the back pay that she had been denied (about $8,200), plus about ten weeks’ severance pay (about $3,800). The settlement restored health insurance as if she had continued to work for Yale, without her having to do so, and reimbursed her for the COBRA payments she had made. When she is 55, she can take early retirement and, like any retiree, her health plan will continue. The value of all that — the value to Salome, though not the cost to Yale — is more than $250,000 over her lifetime (calculating future value and assuming a long “lifetime”) [see attached financial figures]. She never demanded, nor did she receive, anything for punitive damages or for deliberate delays and time lost. She had merely insisted upon, and finally received, restoration of Yale’s contractual obligations.

When Salome was fired, she also lost the chance for ever working anywhere at Yale again or of openly accounting for her work at Yale if she sought employment elsewhere because of the black mark (literally, it was an “X” and the designation “insubordination”) that Gaddis Smith had added to her personnel file. That record is erased by item 1 of the Agreement, which physically purges her record and means that she never was suspended or fired. Furthermore, although it was her preference not to take a job at Yale, should she ever want to, she could reenter the work force with a clean record.

Finally, there was damage by rumor and innuendo. It was understood that wrongful termination settlements legally forbid the employer from ever referring to an erased suspension and firing or from discrediting the employee to outsiders. However, because settlements do not normally affect in-house gossip, Yale further agreed to forbid the perpetrators in the case from ever again discrediting Salome or from even speaking of the suspension or termination, within or outside the University. This is what item 2 is about, and the memorandum from Brian Tunney, the director of Labor Relations, addressed to the thirteen perpetrators that she designated. While those thirteen are restricted in what they may say or write, Salome did not sign a non-disclosure agreement, so is free (as are her supporters) to say or write anything about the affair.

Last updated 06 December 2022 (Tuesday) at 19:51:11 EST