New Jersey Tenure FAQs
What is tenure?
Under New Jersey employment law, tenure is an added layer of job protection for certain public school employees.
What protections does tenure provide for eligible New Jersey education employees?
New Jersey employment law provides that no education employee with tenure can be dismissed or have their compensation reduced except because of inefficiency, incapacity, unbecoming conduct, or other just cause, and the action can be taken only after receiving written notice of the charges and specifications, and a hearing. Thereafter, tenured New Jersey education employees have additional appeal rights.
In New Jersey, who is eligible for tenure?
“Teaching staff members” are eligible for tenure. Teaching staff members include most employees on the professional staff of a local board of education employed under a valid certificate issued by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners. This includes teachers, of course, but also includes principals, assistant principals, school nurses, athletic trainer and secondary school athletic directors. District superintendents and administrative principals receive tenure only during the length of their employment contracts. Certain administrative employees are also eligible for tenure, including full-time secretaries, assistant secretaries, business managers and school business administrators. Janitors and maintenance employees may also be eligible for tenure. Public college faculty fall under a different tenure regulatory regime.
How does a teaching staff member obtain tenure?
There are three ways for teaching staff members to obtain tenure. The first is employment with a local board of education for four consecutive calendar years, ie., 48 consecutive calendar months. The second is employment with a local board of education for four consecutive academic years and employment at the start of the following academic year, sometimes referred to as four years and a day. The third is employment for the equivalent of at least four academic years and one day within five consecutive academic years; since an academic year is defined as forty months, this means employment for at least 40 months and one day within five consecutive academic years.
How do board secretaries, business managers and school business administrators obtain tenure?
To obtain tenure under New Jersey employment law, board secretaries, business managers and school business administrators must serve in their position for at least three consecutive calendar years.
How do secretarial and clerical employees obtain tenure?
To obtain tenure under New Jersey employment law, secretaries and other clerical employees must be employed for three consecutive years or a shorter period fixed by their local board of education, or for three consecutive academic years plus employment at the beginning of the next academic year.
How do janitorial employees obtain tenure?
Janitorial employees obtain tenure immediately upon the start of their employment unless their employment contract specifies a specific period of employment. However, union contracts can negotiate a middle ground, allowing janitors to be employed for the term of their contract, and then receive tenure after a specific time period, such as three years. “Maintenance employees” are included in “janitorial employees.”
How do district superintendents and administrative principals obtain tenure?
District superintendents and administrative principals receive tenure protection during the terms of their employment contracts, which must be three to five years. They are deemed to be reappointed unless their local board of education gives them notice that their contract will not be renewed or they are reemployed under a contract for a different period.
Do you represent teachers and other education employees in tenure disputes?
Yes, our New Jersey employment attorneys represent teachers, principals, secretaries, administrators, janitors, and other public education employees in all phases of employment law, including tenure hearings and appeals. Call us at (973) 890-0004 or fill out the contact form on this page to arrange a consultation with one of our New Jersey employment lawyers. We can help.