What constitutes “years of service”?

UPDATED: May 12, 2011

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What constitutes “years of service”?

I know a person who has been employed in a school district for approximately 10 years as an admin assistant. Initially the job fell under the ESC, and they wrote the checks. About 4 years ago, the position was shifted to be paid by the school and the position became union. The school district is struggling and must make some cuts. This person has only been in the “union” position for 4 years and so they are at the top of the list to be cut. If the person has been in the same position and the same location for 10 years, shouldn’t the total 10 years be viewed and not just the 4 union years?

Asked on May 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no general answer in the law. Since this person is in a union, and very likely, it is a union contract which controls in this case (e.g. if there are any terms about years of service, those terms will probably detgermine the answer), the first place to look for  an answer is to the union or collective bargaining agreement; what does it say on the subject.

If there is no answer there, then you need to look to any rules governing service at this school district; e.g. the district's own internal guidelines and definitions, employee handbooks or manuals, etc. Again, there is no general answer; "years of service" is defined for each position or situation, so you need to look to the rules and agreements governing this position, such as the union contract.

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