I quit! Forever and ever?
September 30, 2010 4:07 PM   Subscribe

NYC Dept of Ed filter: my friend got himself into a sticky situation at his new job (first job out of school) where he was being harassed by the principal. He documented everything but has not consulted a lawyer. He asked for some advice from elders in the DOE, was told to resign in a certain way and was told that this would not permanently remove him from the DOE system. This assurance may be false.

My friend is now told that resignation without 30 days notice will probably terminate him from the DOE system, without another chance ever to be rehired by the DOE. Apparently, none of his resources have any idea of the true effect of the resignation. I know that this may ultimately be the territory of a lawyer, but I am wondering if anyone knows of other resources to find out the true effect of the resignation? Is there a possibility of a hearing? How does this work? Is there a body outside of the union who can advise my friend on an appropriate course of action? Is it possible that this is a recent rule, that if you resign without a particular period of notice, for whatever reason, that you are resigning permanently from the DOE?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd think the nature of the "sticky situation" is really pertinent. Did the harassment follow the situation or cause the situation? Were there/are there possible legal ramifications related to the situation? What kind of position did your friend have--teacher? Administrator? Department or clerical staff? Is s/he a member of a union (if so, why shun the union? They have lawyers for this sort of thing)? Does s/he have a contract (if so, they should start reading their contract immediately)?

I'm not familiar with NY's DOE, but in the CA district I worked for, there were very specific rules about how you could take a leave or change jobs without losing your place in the HR hierarchy. I'd think requesting some kind of transfer would be better. Resignations are pretty final in my experience. All this should be in the contract if your friend is in some kind of contract position.
posted by smirkette at 4:23 PM on September 30, 2010

You mention a union, but not why your friend is looking for advice outside the union. Unless he can find a lawyer who is familiar with your friend's particular contract and the union/management relationship and history, I would tend to think he should rely on the union.
posted by Mavri at 4:50 PM on September 30, 2010

Yeah, he no doubt has a steward at his disposal. Heck, he has some very well-paid permanent staff at his disposal. Heck, the union has lawyers, which, if he calls up the steward, he can be connected to.
posted by SMPA at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2010

One: your friend should be talking to his union rep, not the 'elders of DOE', who are possibly just as crazy as the principal.

Two: your friend shouldn't be betting on rehire even if he isn't barred. People are getting excessed left and right, and the NYC and state budgets aren't getting any more generous anytime soon.
posted by a young man in spats at 5:21 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

NYCDOE administrator here.

Union, union, union. Your friend should have gone to the union long before this point.

[a lot of other wisdom deleted so as not to dilute the above advice]
posted by etc. at 6:25 PM on September 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

This is going to depend on the state. In Texas, if a teacher violates the employment contract, the school district can withhold/restrict your teaching certificate for the length of the contract, meaning you will not be able to teach for that time period. A district can release you from your contract if it so wishes in certain circumstances such as a spouse's job transfer or to accept a promotion, etc. It could also depend on the type of contract; we have probationary and continuing contracts, and the rules vary for each.

Legal issues aside, it is a BIG deal for a teacher to quit during the school year without good cause. He will likely find it hard to find another job, this year or any year. Texas is a right-to-work state so we don't have unions but we do have teachers' organizations that fulfill the same function and they can be very helpful. He definitely should consult the union/teacher organization. They can advise him on his rights and proper procedures. He may or may not have a case in which to file a grievance.

Most places, it is very difficult to actually terminate a teacher. Principals resort to "counseling them out of the profession" if we really feel they shouldn't be teaching.
posted by tamitang at 6:41 PM on September 30, 2010

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