Adverse employment actions against teachers for excessive or unexcused absences

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University of Alabama Libraries

School leaders need to be equipped with knowledge concerning the litigation and procedures for conducting adverse employment actions against K-12 employees for excessive or unexcused absences. School administrator graduate programs are filled with courses in leadership, management, and curriculum, with school law many times maintaining the smallest percentage of the knowledge base. There is a need to understand and maintain teachers’ rights while fulfilling the school system’s goal of student success. Research data illustrate that good teaching matters, and many believe that educators should be held accountable for the outcomes of the students in their classrooms. With the rigorous educational accountability measures currently mandated in school systems today, school leaders should search for ways to ensure that students are in class receiving quality instruction from quality teachers. The purpose of this study was to examine the issues related to adverse employment actions involving K-12 school employees in which the school boards had taken action against for excessive and/or unexcused absences. Research included identifying relevant court cases from 1914 to 2013 to determine fact patterns, outcomes, and court case trends. The study contained 63 cases involving adverse personnel actions against school employees for excessive and/or unexcused absences. The Board of Education prevailed in 46 of the 63 cases examined in this study. The school employee was successful in 14 of the cases, and the court decision was split in 3 court cases. The court decisions in this research study established 15 guidelines for school administrators to follow when taking adverse employment action against employees for excessive and/or unexcused absences.

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Educational administration, Education policy, Educational leadership