Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code: 7940
CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL: SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL
Classified positions are those that do not require a professional educator’s license. Classified positions are critical to the effective operation of the Avery County School District. The board encourages open communication between classified employees and their supervisors. When performance problems arise, supervisors are encouraged to clearly communicate in oral or written form the nature of the deficiencies and to provide a reasonable opportunity to improve. Any written notices or reprimands will be included in the employee's central office personnel file. All employees are expected to meet job requirements and to seek clarification and guidance when needed to fulfill these requirements.
The superintendent or his or her designee may suspend an employee without pay as a disciplinary sanction. The superintendent will provide written notice of the suspension without pay to the employee. This notice will be placed in the personnel file. The suspension without pay may begin immediately. An employee has ten calendar days from the date of receiving written notice to request an appeal before the board of education regarding the decision to suspend without pay. If an appeal is not made within this time, an appeal is deemed to be waived. An employee may appeal a suspension on the basis that there was no rational basis for the suspension; the suspension was discriminatory or was used for harassment; or board policies were not followed.
Upon receiving a request for an appeal, the chairperson may designate a panel of three board members to review the decision. The chairperson of the board or the panel may establish rules for an orderly and efficient hearing. The employee will be notified in writing of the decision of the board to uphold, reverse or modify the superintendent's decision. An employee will receive back pay for any period of suspension without pay that is not upheld by the board.
As "at will" employees, employees in classified positions may be terminated on any nondiscriminatory basis, including inadequate performance, misconduct, failure to follow board policies or a reduction in staff. All terminations to reduce staff will be in accordance with board policy 7921. All other terminations will be made pursuant to this policy. The superintendent has the authority to terminate at-will employees considering the recommendation of the immediate supervisor. The superintendent and the board should provide written notice to the employee of the decision to terminate. An employee has 15 calendar days from the date of receiving notice to request an appeal of the decision to the board of education. The termination is effective during the period of appeal.
Upon receiving a request to appeal the superintendent's decision to terminate, the chairperson may appoint a panel of three board members to review the decision. The employee has the burden of
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establishing that the termination was based on an illegal discrimination. The superintendent may offer evidence to substantiate that the dismissal was for a nondiscriminatory reason, such as prior warnings or remedial efforts.
The hearing procedures established in board policy 2500, Hearings Before the Board, will be followed. The chairperson will provide written notice of the decision to the employee and the superintendent as soon as practicable after reaching a decision. The board may uphold the superintendent’s decision or reinstate the employee for any reason it deems proper, so long as the board’s reason is not discriminatory.
Any employee who has been dismissed for cause will be ineligible for reemployment.
This policy is not intended to create any property rights or an implied or express contract between the board and the employee other than what is provided by law.
Legal References: 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. § 794 et. seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1981; 42 U.S.C. § 12101; G.S. 115C-47
Cross References: Classified Personnel Reduction (policy 7921), Annual Independent Audit (policy 8310)
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