Policy Code: GCP
Adoption Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Review Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
Termination Procedures for Tenured Employees
Tenured employees are those who have worked in the Iron County School District for more than three years or four or five years if provisional status has been extended by the Board and, therefore, have a reasonable expectation of continued employment in succeeding years.
Employees may be suspended or dismissed for cause under Utah Orderly School Termination Procedures Act, Utah Code -Title 53A- Chapter 8 the Public Education Human Resource Management Act, 53A-8a-101. Just cause for disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or dismissal, shall include, but not be limited to the following acts or omissions by employees:
C. Willful neglect of duty
D. Inability to perform assigned duties
E. Improper conduct, including, but not limited to the following:
- Conduct which violates any established policy, directive, rule, or regulation.
- Conduct that violates the criminal law of the State of Utah or of the United States.
- Conduct that violates common, established standards of morality.
- Bringing an intoxicant onto school property; consuming an intoxicant on school property; or reporting for work under the influence of an intoxicant.
- Bringing a non-prescription controlled substance onto school property; using a non-prescription controlled substance on school property; or reporting for work under the influence of a non-prescription controlled substance.
- Addiction to an intoxicant, a narcotic or other controlled substance.
F. Subversive activities
G. Mental derangemen
Drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation are available to employees through the following: Southwest Utah Mental Health - Alcohol and Drug Center; Charter Canyon House; Horizon House. Payment for rehabilitation will be made by the employee or through their insurance. Upon successful completion of rehabilitation, the employee may submit an application for future employment. However, it may not be at the same school or in the exact job from which the employee entered rehabilitation.
At the beginning of the school year, all employees of the Iron County School District will be required to read the District’s Policy Handbook and sign a statement attesting to their knowledge and awareness of all policies. The District also has an Employee Relations and Corrective Discipline Handbook that outlines the grievance and due process procedures as a guide for employees and administrators available on the Iron County School District website and from administators (see GCP-E). All Iron County School District employees will be notified that compliance with the standards of conduct outlined in these handbooks is mandatory.
If the district intends to terminate the employment of a tenured employee for any of the causes outlined in this policy, a written notice shall be sent by certified mail or personal delivery to the employee's last known address at least 30 days prior to the proposed date of termination. The notice shall state the date of termination and the detailed reasons for termination. It shall also include notification to the employee of his or her rights to due process in accord with the policies of the Iron County School District (see GCPA and GBM). An employee may be suspended with, or without, pay prior to the date of termination or the procedural due process hearings to which the employee is entitled. If a tenured employee's employment is to be terminated because of the reasons listed under the “Reduction of Staff” category, no requirement for days of prior notice or due process is required.
If the district intends to terminate the employment of a tenured employee for any reason other than those delineated above, the district must go through the process of placing the employee on probation that outlines the reasons and conditions of that probation as outlined in the Employee Relations and Corrective Discipline Handbook. Such notification shall be in written form and delivered by certified mail or personal delivery to the last known address of the individual at least two months prior to the end of the current contract term. The written notice shall include a clear and concise statement that the employee's contract will not be renewed for the next term and the reasons for the termination. In the absence of written notice, indicating the district's intention not to offer a contract to a tenured employee for a subsequent year, the employee is considered employed for the following contract term. This clause does not preclude the dismissal of an employee for cause, as described in this document.
Termination Procedures for Provisional Employees
The right to terminate employees who have worked in the Iron County School District three years or less or four or five years if provisional status has been extended by the Board shall rest in the sole and absolute discretion of the Board of Education, and no cause need be given by the Board during the first three years of employment. The first three, four, or five years of service in the Iron County School District are defined as provisional years. Therefore, such employees may be dismissed at the end of the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth year of service. Provisional employees have no guarantee of continued employment in any year subsequent to the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth year of employment. Before a provisional employee is notified that he or she will not be re-employed, the employee is entitled to receive help and counsel from his/her principal or supervisor about their employment.
- A provisional employee is one who, pursuant to the employment practices of the school district, does not have reasonable expectation of employment in successive years. An employee is classified as provisional until he or she has completed three years of employment in the district and has been employed by the district for a fourth contract year. The district may extend the provisional status of an employee up to an additional two consecutive years by written notification to the provisional employee no later than thirty days before the end of the contract term of that individual. Circumstances under which an employee’s provisional status may be extended include: (1) less-than-perfect score on a performance evaluation; (2) receipt of complaint(s) or expression(s) of concern from a parent, co-worker, or member of the community that creates uncertainty about the employee’s professionalism, performance, or character; (3) declining student enrollment in the district or in a particular program or class; (4) the discontinuance or substantial reduction of a particular service or program; (5) budgetary concerns.
- All provisional employees shall be employed for the duration of one academic year only. When the obligations of employment have been met, neither the employee nor the Board has further obligations to the other party. On or before March 24, a letter of notification shall be hand delivered or sent by registered mail indicating the Board’s intention not to re-employ during the following year. Provisional employees will have the expectation of re-employment during the following year if they do not receive this notification.
- An employee who believes that his/her non-reappointment is constitutionally impermissible must assert that claim and request a hearing in order to protect his or her due process rights. In alignment with past legal precedent an employee who alleges that a non-reappointment decision was based on a constitutionally impermissible reason has the burden of proving that allegation. Rationale: In the interest of creating a superior educational staff, the Board must be free, during the provisional period of employment, to seek more capable and/or qualified personnel. The right to deny additional yearly employment to provisional employees is fundamental to this interest and legally permissible under Utah law (53A-8-101 through 53A-8-107).
Reduction of Staff
Reduction of staff for any of the following reasons may result in non-renewal of employee contracts:
A. Declining student enrollments
B. Discontinuance of a particular program or service
C. The shortage of anticipated revenue after the budget has been adopted
D. School consolidation
The following guidelines will be followed if there is a need to reduce staff:
- Retention order standing: The District will create District-wide retention list(s) identifying affected employees and employees with lower seniority. The District will first group employees by employment category (certified, classified or licensure qualifications) and then position type. Each group constitutes one retention list. Each retention list is then sorted by the adjusted reduction in staff seniority date. The seniority date is determined by the day that an employee was recommended for hire. An example of sorting would place all teachers with a license to teach Language Arts on the same list or all teachers licensed to teach elementary first through sixth grade on the same list.
- Retention list order determines release for placement, termination, and displacement, to the extent that action does not have a negative impact on District needs or basic program requirements. Employees at the bottom of the list have the least retention and seniority.
- In the event two employees are tied for release from the retention list, the tie will be broken in a random draw of names in the presence of the affected parties or their representatives.
- The order of employees released as a result of reduction in staff will be reversed when jobs become available. If an employee on the list is not interested in returning, the next name on the list will be contacted.
- All employees released as a result of reduction in staff will have the opportunity to return when a position is available for which they are qualified prior to the position being advertised.
- Should an employee receive a reasonable offer under this procedure and decline, he/she will no longer be eligible to displace another employee. After declination, eligibility for placement extends only to vacant positions for which the employee is fully qualified. An employee who declines a reasonable offer to a comparable vacant position will have no further entitlement to placement.
- Final decisions concerning a reduction in staff are the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Board of Education.