Contract dispute stall at University of New Orleans

Contract disputes come in many sizes, from federal and military construction contracts to state and local business contracts. Now a contract dispute at the University of New Orleans has left the new president of the university wondering if he should sign on the dotted line. The contract, which is expected to allow the school to take over all the information technology operations at Louisiana's state health agency, would apparently result in the layoff of nearly 70 employees.

The president of UNO says the provisions of the proposed deal bother him, especially those provisions that would result in the layoff of numerous employees of the Department of Health and Hospitals. In addition to the purely human concerns, the president has expressed concern that the layoffs could lead to future litigation.

Specifically, the UNO president said that he is concerned about potential litigation from soon-to-be terminated employees and the financial liability of those employees. Furthermore, according to the contract in question, the Department of Health and Hospitals would not be responsible for conducting the layoffs. Rather, the University of New Orleans would conduct the terminations of the nearly 70 classified employees of the department.

These are legitimate concerns that the university should take seriously. Why UNO could not negotiate a contract that allowed the school to maneuver around the layoffs is unknown, but if the university does decide to move forward with the deal, school officials will want to be fully aware of the implications with regard to business and employment law.

Source: The Republic, "UNO president questions contract of school taking over IT," , March 15, 2012

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