After serving a probationary period, public school teachers on Long Island are afforded important rights under New York’s education law, most notably tenure. Tenured teachers cannot be terminated without being given notice and a hearing pursuant to Section 3020a of the Education Law. Teachers who have been served with 3020a charges are often provided legal representation by their union. But, teachers also have the right to hire a lawyer of their own choosing. Long Island 3020a lawyers Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC, may be able to help.
Probationary teachers have little rights when it comes to job security. Generally, probationary teachers can be fired for any reason. Administrators, however, must act in good faith and in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and procedures. For instance, administrators must follow proscribed observation and rating rules when evaluating teachers’ performance. Additionally, administrators cannot discriminate against teachers on the basis of sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, race, or pregnancy. Moreover, administrators cannot retaliate against teachers who exercise protected rights, such as taking Family Medical Leave (FMLA) or engaging in union activity. When administrators act in bad faith in terminating a probationary teacher, the termination may be challenged in court using an Article 78 proceeding. If the bad faith included discrimination or retaliation, the probationary teacher may also be able to bring a lawsuit in state or federal court.
Tenured teachers, on the other hand, enjoy the privilege of job security. Tenured teachers cannot be fired without cause and without being provided notice of disciplinary charges and a hearing. 3020a hearings are generally held at the school district’s offices, or if the teacher is employed by the New York City Department of Education, the hearing may at OATH, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. At the hearing, evidence is presented to the hearing officer. The school district has the burden of proving the charges, but the teacher has an opportunity to present a defense. This is why representation by experienced 3020a attorneys is important. After the evidence is presented, the hearing officer will make a recommendation to the school board as to whether the teacher is guilty of the charges and if so, what penalty should be imposed.
If you have been served with 3020a charges, you should speak with an experienced 3020a attorney immediately, either through your union or with a private 3020a lawyer, such as Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC. The 3020a lawyer will discuss your rights and options with you. At Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC, our attorneys will explore with you whether there is any basis to file a lawsuit against the school district. We believe offense is the best defense! A frequent basis for a lawsuit is discrimination or retaliation.
Whether or not you have a lawsuit against the school district, you should be prepared to defend yourself in the 3020a proceeding with a 3020a lawyer. At Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC, our 3020a attorneys will work with you to prepare you and your witnesses for the 3020a hearing. We will also review your evidence and discuss ways to counter any evidence the school district may have.
Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC are Long Island 3020a lawyers. If you have questions about teachers’ rights, 3020a charges or hearings, or discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, contact one of our 3020a lawyers. Our employment lawyers are available at 631-352-0050 or on the internet at http://linycemploymentlaw.com. More information about employment law and teachers’ rights is available on our blog at http://linycemploymentlaw.com/blogresources or on Facebook.
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