California Education Law: Certificated School District Personnel, Know Your Suspension Rights


The California education attorneys at the San Francisco firm of Slote &amp Hyperlinks have handled several suspension situations more than the years and are amazed at how frequently the procedure goes wrong. In a common situation, a Senior Administrator (at times the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent) sends a notice to a teacher or principal informing them that they will be suspended without having pay inside 10 days. In some instances, the letter will offer a “hearing” of some sort.

But these notices violate the procedure set forth in the California Education Code, which governs the termination and suspension of certificated personnel. Certainly, there is a extremely detailed procedure set forth in the code and, unless the school district has negotiated an alternate procedure with an employee union, the “code procedures” govern suspensions.

There are many points to maintain in mind.

1st, staff ought to know that the Superintendent or upper level administrators do not have the power to suspend employees. The code allocates that responsibility to the governing board (in most instances the governing physique is referred to as the Board of Trustees or the Board of Education). This rule is set forth in Education Code § 44932(b).

Second, everyone should comprehend that the Education Code supplies a quantity of particulars. Indeed, in order to suspend (or dismiss) an employee:

Verified charges have to be brought to the governing board (“verified” signifies the charges must be attested under oath) (§44934)

A majority of the governing board need to vote to suspend or dismiss (§44934)

The employee need to get notice of the board’s action and be afforded 30 days in which to request a hearing (§§ 44934, 44937, 44941)

If no hearing is requested inside 30 days, it is waived (§§ 44937, 44941)

If the employee requests a hearing, it must be conducted just before a “Commission on Expert Competence” composed of 3 persons – 1 nominated by the district one particular by the employee and the third member is a California Administrative Law Judge, who chairs the proceeding and “shall be responsible for assuring that the legal rights of the parties are protected at the hearing.” (§44944(a) &amp (b))

The employee has complete discovery rights and can take depositions, subpoena documents and witnesses – in short, the employee can conduct the proceeding the very same as if it had been an administrative hearing conducted pursuant to the California Government Code (§§ 44941, 44944(a))

The tribunal decides by majority vote, and have to prepare a written determination of troubles, with a disposition that should be one of the following:

1) That the employee should be suspended for a particular period of time with out spend

2) That the employee ought to not be suspended (44944(c)(1))

• The choice of the Commission on Expert Competence is final and binding on the governing board (44944(c)(four)).

In a number of circumstances where a college district has ignored these procedures, but nonetheless attempted to suspend an employee without spend, our attorneys have been effective in convincing the district to withdraw the discipline and begin over with complete recognition of the employee’s legal rights. Personnel and employers alike should know what the law demands and need to insist that mandated procedures be followed.

If you want a California education law lawyer, please contact Slote &amp Links. In addition to California education law, our firm also defends specialists and businesses on license applications and denials, revocations/suspensions, interim/temporary suspension orders. For a totally free consultation on California administrative law or comparable problems, pay a visit to these days.