Legal Question in Employment Law in New York

I am a teacher in New York who was terminated in January (on a Thursday afternoon) after a series of routine observations. I was a first year teacher in this district and reacted somewhat defensively to criticism by my assistant principal after the first observation. Thereafter, false statements were contained in subsequent observations, all relatively benign in nature that had no effect on my teaching effectiveness. Our district union representative shares a close friendship with the superintendent who conducted one of these observations, and I do not feel that I would be given fair representation, though she has suggested that to offer a letter of resignation would be a less detrimental to my career than a termination on my permanent file. I struggle with the idea of resignation for multiple reasons, primarily as I feel that I was dismissed for a personality conflict (not likely to be proven) rather than ineffectiveness as an educator, and that to resign in the middle of the academic year would be as damaging to my career as a termination. The superintendent is scheduled to recommend my termination to the school board in 12 days, and I am desperate for sound legal advice regarding the decision to resign vs undergo formal termination.

Asked on 2/13/13, 12:02 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jason Stern Law Offices of Jason Stern

It sounds as though you are in serious need of legal representation (severance attorney) and that a simple answer would not suffice given the complex circumstances involved. A fair evaluation and analysis of the facts would have to consider future employment opportunities, references and any proposed incentives for your resignation.

Please call my office at 212-920-6950 or contact me through my website if you would like a thoroughly analysis and recommendations for action.

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Answered on 2/13/13, 12:12 pm

Locksley Wade Law Office of Locksley O. Wade

As a teacher in NY State -unlike the general public- you have a very very limited time in which to file a possible civil suit against your employer regardless of whether you are pursuing a claim through your union. Please do not wait another day to speak with an employment law attorney.

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Answered on 2/13/13, 1:22 pm

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