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UM to pay $300,000 to settle wrongful termination lawsuit

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Students walk on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus (file photo)

The University of Michigan will pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit with a former university employee who says she was wrongfully terminated.

That's according to the confidential settlement agreement, which was recently obtained by MLive through a Freedom of Information Act records request.

A complaint filed last fall by Amy Wang claims she was fired after refusing to lie to federal officials about the job duties of a non-U.S. resident working for the university.

According to the complaint, the employee worked at the university through a North American Free Trade Agreement-created program that allows residents of Mexico or Canada to receive temporary work visas to work in the U.S.

The complaint states the employee worked in a permanent, managerial role, which isn’t allowed under the program guidelines.

The lawsuit claims the unnamed employee and Associate Vice President of Finance Nancy Hobbs asked Wang to “fraudulently misrepresent” the employee’s title and job duties in a letter to federal officials that was required in order to renew the employee’s Visa.

The university has also agreed to characterize Wang’s departure as a resignation. U of M is not admitting liability in the matter, according to the settlement.

A U of M spokesman said in an email that the University "categorically denies" the claim that Wang was ever asked to lie.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Radio. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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