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Articles Tagged with Employment Law

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pre-1272291__180New Jersey’s employment laws governing the rights and responsibilities of New Jersey teachers are found in Title 18A of New Jersey Statutes. The laws are complex, but our employment attorneys have significant experience in representing New Jersey teachers in this complex area.  Indeed, Maurice McLaughlin wrote the seminal treatise on the rights of public school teachers under New Jersey employment law.  This blog briefly summarizes untenured teachers’ rights.

Status of Non-Tenured Teachers

New Jersey is an “employment at will” state.  This means that normally an employee can be fired for any reason –even mistaken reasons – so long as the motivation is not illegal.  New Jersey’s tenure protection laws provide strong protections from the harshness of employment at will, but until teachers acquire tenure they have few protections against termination, even without cause.

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knowledge-1052011__180New Jersey’s Department of Education has issued regulations which govern “controversies and disputes” with public employees such teachers and principals.  The “controversies and disputes” cover a wide variety of issues including but not limited to the State Board of Examiner’s (“Board’s”) decision to block, revoke, or suspend a teacher’s certificate.

If you are faced with such a controversy or dispute or have been adversely affected by a  decision from the Board or other agency, these regulations provide a legal right to challenge the decision through a petition of appeal.  The petition of appeal must be filed in the specific format and must be filed within the time limitations provided under N.J.A.C. §6A:3-1.3(i).  Failing to strictly comply with these requirements may prevent you from challenging the Board’s or other agency’s decision or order.

The time period to file a petition of appeal begins from the date you receive a notice of “a final order, ruling or other action” by the Board, a board of education, or other agency.  The notice of the final decision must set forth the facts that you have a right to know which the decision is based on.  However, the notice may not be clear that the decision is final or provide you with information regarding your right to file a petition of appeal.  Therefore, it is extremely important that you address any notice of a decision that affects your employment promptly and seek legal counsel regarding your rights to appeal before they are time barred.

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Fighting Tenure Charges Against New Jersey Teachersbirger-kollmeier-910261__180

Our New Jersey employment attorneys represent teachers and other school employees in tenure charges, wrongful discharge, harassment and other wrongful treatment.

In 2012, the TEACHNJ Act, pushed through the Legislature by Governor Christie, made major changes to New Jersey’s tenure laws.  Among other changes, it revamped the appeal process for New Jersey tenure charges.  Instead of having New Jersey Department of Education make the final determination of tenure charges after a fact-finding trial by an administrative law judge, appeals of tenure charges are now decided by binding arbitration.  Because of the finality of these arbitration decisions, and the limited grounds for appeal, it is important to have experienced New Jersey employment attorneys representing you.

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