Tenure is a set of specific statutory rights that guarantee certain employees in the education field with due process protections throughout their employment. Tenure rights serve as a procedural safeguard against unlawful termination. It places restrictions on how a school district, for example, can fire their employees. Tenure is earned through the satisfactory completion of a probationary term of employment, which concludes when the educator is granted tenure after receiving the recommendation of their district superintendent, and the approval of the school board.
It can be unlawful, which makes careful review by a New York Employment Attorney crucial – you may have a legal claim. Tenured teachers are entitled to procedural due process, which means that their dismissal requires an opportunity for a fair hearing. Pursuant to Section 3020-a of the New York State Education Law, there are minimum requirements which the New York City Department of Education or an individual New York public school district must meet in order to terminate a tenured teacher. This is one of the reasons why receiving tenure is so significant; it provides additional protections that probationary employees are unfortunately not entitled to. However, both probationary and tenured teachers are also protected against termination or adverse employment actions which may be motivated by illegal acts such as discrimination based on race, age, gender, national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, family status, or breach of contractual rights. If you are terminated, or brought up on charges, discussing your matter with a New York Employment Attorney may be extremely beneficial. Additionally, other actions that can impact tenured educators can include the fractionalization or even abolition of their positions, which also creates issues which may merit further review under both the New York State Education Law, as well as the individual collective bargaining agreements which may govern a teacher’s employment.
Whether you have been charged with misconduct, incompetence, or a laundry list of allegations, tenured teachers have the right to representation to defend their careers. Private counsel can be retained should a teacher or professor feel more comfortable in pursuing defense of their career through counsel of their choosing.