What are my due process rights as a teacher under suspension?

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What are my due process rights as a teacher under suspension?

I have been an instructor both public and privately for 31 years. I have been

suspended with pay from the county in which I’ve been teaching for 8 years. The

suspension arose from an altercation with a student who threatened me, and I

responded by taking him by the arms which held a pencil that he stated he would

stab me with and forced him to his seat. Apparently HR thought I was acting inappropriately with the student, and within 30 minutes placed me under suspension, took my badge and school keys, and told me not to walk on any school campus until a decision has been reached. This was 2 weeks ago.

Asked on September 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have a written employment agreement or are subject to a union/collective bargaining contract, you have to review that contract to see what rights you have under it--assuming you have a contract and it addresses discipline, suspension, etc., you have whatever rights it gives you. Otherwise...
2) In the absence of a contract (or when there is  a contract, but it does not address this issue or situation), you have no rights against suspension: your employer may suspend you at any time, for any reason, for any length  of time it chooses. That's because except and only to the degree limited by a contract, all employment is "employment at will," and just as an employee at will may be termianted at any time, he or she may be suspended at anytime, even if he/she feels that he/she was justified in his/her actions.


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