ERIC Number: ED215412
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
Reduction in Force: The Legal Aspects.
Ware, Martha L.
Six legal issues surrounding a school district's reduction in force are described in this twelfth chapter in a book on school law. First, the courts generally hold that the school board must prove that a reduction in force (RIF) is inescapable. The second issue revolves around which positions and employees are being eliminated. In deciding such cases, one question to be resolved by the courts is whether a board is attempting to circumvent the fair dismissal statute by abolishing a specific position. Third, courts will examine closely allegations that the real reason for a layoff is constitutionally impermissible, such as the exercise of free speech. Fourth, the issue of seniority is largely determined by statute and contract. Tenured faculty attempting to "bump" other tenured faculty must prove their qualifications for the position. Fifth, in absence of both statute and contract provisions, courts require sufficient notice of RIF. Unfortunately, this causes many boards to issue blanket nonrenewal notices and then rehire almost everyone in the summer. Sixth, and of utmost importance, is the problem of reconciling an affirmative action plan with an RIF policy. It is possible to build in protection in the seniority system for those recently hired or promoted affirmatively. Sample language for affirmative retention and a taxonomy for a reduction-in-force provision are included. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Affirmative Action, Board of Education Policy, Board of Education Role, Compliance (Legal), Contracts, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Legal Problems, Personnel Policy, Reduction in Force, Retrenchment, Seniority, State Legislation, Teacher Dismissal, Tenure
Not available separately; see EA 014 500.
Publication Type: Books; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Note: Chapter 12 of "School Law in Changing Times" (EA 014 500). For related documents, see EA 014 500-521.