Legal Pitfalls in Dealing With Terminated School Employees

By Edwin C. Darden

n whisper mode, it is called the “dance of the lemons” or, even worse, “pass the trash.”

But while those caustic comments might ignite a knowing snicker in board and administrative circles, they reflect a genuine legal and human dilemma in dealing with the transfer or termination of bad employees.

There is an ethical quandary for human resources officials when a substandard employee is fired or rotated among assignments, or allowed to quietly resign ahead of the pink slip.

There are four main choices. Each has its risks, but employees are generally guided by district policy or standard practice, as established by the superintendent. The options: 

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