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VUW corrects misinformation re Court finding

Victoria University Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Sharp says, contrary to recent reports, the central findings in the Alton-Lee Employment Court ruling were in favour of Victoria University.

Professor Sharp says the Court upheld the University on the central issue finding that Dr Alton Lee’s contract of employment was a five-year fixed term contract.

The University was found not to have wrongfully dismissed Dr Alton Lee.

The Court also found in favour of the University on three of the five other issues.

The Court found that the nature of her employment contract did not change, as had been claimed by Dr Alton Lee.

There was found to be no interference on the part of the University in Dr Alton Lee’s opportunity to provide academic leadership, and Dr Alton Lee’s claims that the University had damaged her future employment prospects likewise failed.

The Court did find that the University had breached her contract in some respects, and in total, awarded $90,000 in damages.

However, the Court found that the University had not acted deliberately or recklessly and rejected Dr Alton Lee’s claim for an award of punitive damages.

Professor Sharp says the issues in this case date back to 1994.

Victoria University Wellington

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