In a recent article published on the online "Adjunct Nation" newsletter
("Law Firm Strikes Gold For Adjuncts' Golden Years," January/February 2009),
Cara Nissman reports that a law firm in Seattle has successfully argued
in King County Superior Court that part-time community college instructors
have a right to "retroactive retirement benefits."
This class-action lawsuit resulted in a court ruling that means about 1,000
community college adjuncts in Washington State are to receive a total
of $12 million dollars in benefits. One of the individuals who approached
the firm of Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong to bring this case was Dana Rush,
an astronomy instructor at Green River Community College. The law firm
also successfully litigated for part-time workers at Microsoft in the past,
winning $96.8 million dollars.
The key issue in the adjuncts case turned out to be that eligibility for
benefits were calculated without considering "out-of-class hours." In her
article, journalist Cara Nissman reports that Washington State Governor
Gary Locke "has likened the part-time faculty's situation to that of migrant
A link to the article was circulated this spring on the Eslcc listserv.
There are suggestions in the article that the King County Superior Court
decision on retroactive benefits for community college adjuncts could
be replicated in other states, depending on local statutes.
By Robb Scott
Editor, ESL MiniConference Online
2009 ESL MiniConference Online
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