As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer, I have had many teachers that are appointed on a probationary period, but are on a tenured track. This means that you haven’t talked about having tenure after three years, after successful completion of three years your position ripens, and you will be appointed on tenure. When there is a concern about tenure and this typically arises in the third and final year, we try to work with the employee to ascertain what the issues really are and see if we can resolve them short of a denial of tenure.
When tenure is denied, and this typically happens within a few months of the probationary appointment. The teacher is notified verbally, and in writing that the superintendent will not recommend that individual for tenure; but there still are a few options.
One option is a fourth year. There are some situations in which a school district will agree not to terminate that teacher at the end of a probationary term, but to grant a fourth year to see whatever the issues were that precluded tenure. As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer, I have heard teachers who have received that option in the fourth year, and some of them have actually been appointed on tenure, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Another option is that you simply teach out your year and you will be terminated at the end of that particular year. A third option, and it’s something that we pursue, is the possibility of resignation prior to being terminated after the employee has learned that tenure will not be granted. The issue here becomes, what will be on the employee’s record going forward, and whether it’s preferable for the employee to have resigned rather than to have to report to the next prospective employer as being denied tenure and terminated.
These decisions are made on a fact specific basis, and every now and then we have had lawsuits based upon denial of tenure where we believe there has been some other violation of law. If a superintendent does not recommend a teacher for tenure, the school board may not grant tenure in those circumstances.
Are you a teacher that was denied tenure in New York? Contact experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer Jane Gould to fight for you!