Unfortunately, personnel season is here (a/k/a "March Madness"). As you all know, there are specific statutory deadlines/requirements that must be followed in order to provide employees with appropriate due process rights. Of course you are faced with both professional and personnel related issues. A majority of the counties have had to RIF and/or Transfer a number of service personnel over the years, and likely again this year. The purpose of this month's memo is to give you some reminders as it relates to service personnel employees:
- The Superintendent must provide a service personnel employees with written notice that s/he is being considered for transfer by the first Monday in April.
- The Board must conduct hearings for any service employee being considered for transfer by the first Monday in May.
- The Board must vote to terminate ("RIF") a continuing contract of a service personnel employee by the first day of April.
- The Board must vote by the first Monday in May with regard to a probationary service employee's contract. No advance notice to the employee is required.
- Keep in mind that if a service employee voluntarily leaves employment of a board of education and later returns, s/he does not recapture their seniority before the voluntary break in employment (something to keep in mind as seniority is considered).
- Lastly, The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals addressed the issue of prejudgment in Lavender v. McDowell County Bd. of Educ., 327 S.E.2d 691 (W. Va. 1984). In particular, the Court stated that W. Va. Code § 18A-2-2, "requires that the superintendent not submit an employee's name for proposed transfer . . ., or discuss such actions with the board, until after the superintendent has notified the employee directly and afforded him an opportunity to request a hearing before the board. Such a procedure is consistent with the concept that the board is to make a detached and independent evaluation of the employee's case." The Superintendent CANNOT seek advance "approval" of any proposed reductions.