Last year, the Washington State University’s head football coach was fired for refusing to get the COVID vaccine, along with four of his assistants. Now, he has filed a lawsuit against the university for wrongful termination.

Nick Rolovich, former head coach for the Washington State football team, was denied a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine last year, and subsequently fired in October 2021 for refusing the jab.

Nick Rolovich, former head coach of the Washington State University football team

In Washington state, per Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s policy, employees who don’t comply with state-wide COVID vaccine mandates won’t be granted unemployment benefits.

In a news conference about Washington’s vaccine mandate, Gov. Inslee said, “The vast majority of people will not be eligible for unemployment compensation. So people will be without a paycheck the day that they are discharged.”

When Rolovich was fired from the football team, he had coached 11 games with the Cougars over two seasons, and had three seasons still remaining on his contract. He was being paid $3.2 million per year, which is the highest public salary in the state.

Rolovich previously served as head coach at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Following the university firing Rolovich “for cause,” the former head coach’s attorney, Brian Fahling, filed a 34-page letter appealing the university’s decision to fire Rolovich, but the appeal was denied.

Now, Rolovich has filed a claim against the university seeking $25 million for wrongful termination.

This claim was filed with the state’s Office of Risk Management on April 27, which is a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit against a state agency. After the initial filing, the individual must wait 60 days to sue.

Brionna Aho, the spokesperson for state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, reported that no suit had been filed as of Wednesday.

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