University in OR Settles with Pension Whistleblower

November 2, 2006 ( - Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has agreed to pay its former retirement programs manager to settle a claim it wrongfully fired him after he expressed concern over pension contributions.

The Oregonian reports that OHSU will pay Gordon Allen $95,262.95 and the law firm representing him $42,737.05 as part of the settlement. In return, Allen has agreed to drop all claims against the university, not discuss the settlement, not disparage OHSU, and never apply for a job at the university.

The lawsuit claimed that OHSU did not make “timely or accurate contributions” to its pension plan or the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, according to the Oregonian. Allen said he was fired after he told his bosses that he was worried about the pension contributions. He sued for wrongful discharge and violation of Oregon’s whistleblower law, seeking $3.5 million.

OHSU spokeswoman, Kathleen McFall, said in the news report that the university “strongly asserts that Mr. Allen’s claims on all points were without merit, including his unfounded claim that OHSU did not take seriously its obligations to comply with state pension laws and regulations.”