Can my employer decide not to renew my contract because they disliked something that I said during my evaluation?

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Can my employer decide not to renew my contract because they disliked something that I said during my evaluation?

I am an early childhood teacher working at a childcare center. On my evaluation form I stated that because I am only being paid based on 1/3 of my experience a school policy is in place saying that assistant teacher experience doesn’t count towards classroom experience I am only willing to contribute a comparable amount of my skills. During my evaluation meeting I explained that I have skills beyond those required for the job (i.e. early intervention related) but I am not willing to contribute them if I am not being told to do so. At the end of that meeting I was told by the center director that she was unsure if she would renew my contract. In a follow up meeting 2 weeks later she expressed that she felt that I should have come and apologized to her about what I said during the previous meeting. I did not believe I owed an apology and let her know that. During that meeting I also confirmed with her that my job performance was not an issue and I had no disciplinary issues against me. The next day I was informed that my contract will not be renewed at the end of the school year. When I asked for the reason in writing and signed the director refused my request and would only refer to the reason as

Asked on June 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is an existing employment contract is effect, a worker has no legal right to have such a contract renewed. Accordingly, once it expires, you will be an "at will" worjker which means that, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination, your employment can be terminated for any or no reason at all.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this. There is no right to have your contract renewed after it expires: except *while* a written employment contract is in effect, all employment is employment at will--an employee may be terminated, or his/her employment otherwise not continued, for any reason, including telling your employer that you will not work to the best of your ability. Therefore, when this contract is up and you are no longer protected by it, they can refuse to renew it or your employment.


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