UBC must pay fired author Steven Galloway $167,000 for privacy violation

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The University of British Columbia must pay fired creative writing professor and author Steven Galloway $167,000 in damages for statements that violated his privacy rights and harmed his reputation.

A labour arbitration decision released Friday does not specifically say which communications infringed his privacy, but Galloway filed two grievances: one after he was suspended in November 2015 and another after he was fired in June 2016.

The first grievance asserted that UBC erred when it sent a memo to faculty, staff and students that announced Galloway had been suspended pending an investigation into “serious allegations.”

The second grievance claimed the university’s communications about his termination, in which it said he was fired after an “irreparable breach of trust,” were misleading and caused serious damage to his reputation and ongoing suffering.

The university said in a statement that it accepts the decision of the arbitrator, who has ordered the school to pay Galloway $167,000.

The decision also reveals that in February 2018 the faculty association withdrew its claim on behalf of Galloway for reinstatement to his post, and for lost income and benefits.

In meant the issue of whether the university had cause to dismiss Galloway was no longer contested as part of the arbitration.