Former Washington State football head coach Nick Rolovich has filed a claim against his ex-employer for $25 million, citing wrongful termination, per Adam Jude of the Seattle Times.
The university fired Rolovich "for cause" last October after he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
All Washington state employees were mandated to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18 of last year. Rolovich did not comply with the vaccine mandate; he applied for a religious exemption, but that was denied.
Rolovich has not officially filed a lawsuit yet, but that seems to be a formality. Jude provided more information:
"A $25 million tort claim was filed on Rolovich’s behalf with the state’s Office of Risk Management on April 27. A tort claim is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit against a state agency, said Brionna Aho, spokesperson for the Office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
"After a tort claim is filed, there is a 60-day period before a claimant can file a lawsuit. As of Tuesday, Rolovich has not filed a lawsuit against the university, Aho said."
Brian Fahling, who is representing Rolovich, released a statement after the firing announcing intentions to sue the university, citing wrongful termination, calling the move "unjust and unlawful" and claiming that he was fired for "being devout in his Catholic faith."
Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg
Just received this from an attorney representing Nick Rolovich, who plans to sue <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WashingtonState?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WashingtonState</a> for illegal termination. Accuses AD Pat Chun of “discriminatory and vindictive behavior.” <a href="https://t.co/KTOnIchKXD">pic.twitter.com/KTOnIchKXD</a>
According to the Associated Press, Rolovich appealed his firing with the university last November but was denied. He was in the second season of a five-year contract paying him $3.2 million annually.
The 43-year-old Rolovich spent four years at Hawaii before leaving for Washington State in 2020. He went 5-6 in 1.5 seasons coaching the team.