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Sue district or not ?
Old 11-22-2019, 06:54 PM
 
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A substitute that has become a friend was recently dismissed by the district he worked in.
He was a floating sub, meaning he got work every day, working in different schools and different grades.
Last month he had two terrible classes in a row, totally out of control and he said student called him the f-word. He's gay.
He decided to go home for the day after third period but told the office beforehand.
So last week he got a letter basically terminating his employment for walking off the job , even though he told office staff, handed in his ID and signed out.

Now he's considering suing the district for unfair dismissal. His partner is encouraging him - he's a lawyer go figure. He asked me, I said I don't think it's a good idea as subs are not part of a union, we are basically at-will employees and the law says you can be fired for any reason or no reason. But he can be very stubborn, very argumentative so I think he's going to file a lawsuit.


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If he claims it was because he is gay
Old 11-22-2019, 07:34 PM
 
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If he claims it was because he was gay, he probably has a case, but other than that, I'm not seeing it. They can fire us just because they don't think we "fit," or whatever. Leaving early is more than enough of a reason to fire us.

I left a school early, but as soon as I drove to my house I emailed the district and quit, explaining the nightmare I had just endured. I wouldn't just leave early without expecting major repercussions. All just my experience.
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My two cents...
Old 11-23-2019, 02:13 AM
 
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I'm not wearing my judge's robe this morning but it seems to me that telling somebody you're walking off the job doesn't mean you didn't walk off the job. Having a bad day doesn't justify it. I also think the fact he turned in his ID is important. But if I were asked, I'd wish him luck because it sounds unlikely anyone's going to change his mind.

By the way, I don't think the fact he's gay is a consideration but I'll bet his partner/attorney plays the card if/when they sue.
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:59 AM
 
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He should have sent the student to the office and written him up. Leaving was a bad idea.

Yes, what the student did was definitely harassment and disgusting, but leaving the job like that is unprofessional and lacking judgment.

I'm on the sub's side, don't get me wrong, but he handled the situation improperly and left the school without coverage for the remainder of the day. He should have stuck it out for the day and just not return to that district.

Even on my worst, most offensive subbing day ever, I still stayed the entire shift. Unless you're feeling sick or it's a family emergency, most employers won't let you leave early.

Imagine an auto mechanic walking off the job. He'd surely be fired too.

Last edited by subasaurus; 11-23-2019 at 03:32 AM..
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:04 AM
 
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I don't think it's a good idea. If the media gets the info, he's going to have a hard time getting a job anywhere doing anything since the employer will be worried about him suing at the drop of a hat. Nobody wants to walk on eggshells with an employee nor worry about him walking out on them. There are too many good people looking for jobs to worry about that.

Yes, it was wrong what the student did, but he was wrong to leave whether he told someone or not - he still left. It's tough on a school to cover a class without a sub. That's why we need them to begin with.

It was a student who did the name-calling. They're immature. If it were an employer, that's a different story. He's the adult, so he should've been the bigger person. It's not about him being gay - it's about him getting offended from a student and leaving his job.


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Old 11-23-2019, 08:02 AM
 
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So he accepted a job that was bound to be full of challenging classes that other subs turn down. He only made it through two classes for the day before walking out. He couldn't deal with the misbehavior in a mature manner and simply ignore or remove the student. Why did the students know about his personal life anyway? I don't consider telling the office he was going home to be adequate notice for leaving a job, and leaving his ID and signing out doesn't change that. Job adandonment is different than being terminated. I doubt he would be eligible for unemployment because of it. I think he just needs to apologize to those he inconvenienced and go look for a different job.

Do you know whether he attempted to report for the other jobs that were lined up, or did he simply walk out and not come back the next day? What else could the school really do with an employee who refuses to work? They had to formally address his separation with that letter.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:14 AM
 
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Students call people all kinds of things. Some are true. Some are not. In either case, the student was being disrespectful and should have received whatever punishment is appropriate in that case.

As an adult, your friend behaved inappropriately by walking off the job. Now he faces thej consequences.

No case to sue.
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:58 PM
 
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Agreed, this man hasn’t a leg to stand on if he files a lawsuit against the district. Not only did he behave in a very unprofessional manner, the defense attorneys will skewer him during trial. I can just picture the media salivating over this one.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:05 PM
 
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He told me talked to another lawyer yesterday, and the lawyer advised him if he sued over the "unfair dismissal" things could get really ugly. The district could bring up other instances where he was unprofessional. I'm not sure if the district keeps tabs on sub "incidents" but he told me he was let go from another school for complaining about other teachers in the building he subbed for.
Anyway the lawyer told him bringing a case could cost him his certification if other incidents come to light.
Apart from that one incident, I really don't know what else he has done. He is very educated, has a Master's, but I also know he can be confrontational and stubborn at times.
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Old 11-23-2019, 07:04 PM
 
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They are so desperate for subs these days he can probably easily reapply and get hired.

Some girl lied about me at another school and they took me out of their system. Apparently, they did this to a lot of subs for various petty reasons and even after talking to their secretary personally, I still haven't been put back into the system, so whatever the past principal/secretary did at that school is sticking, even though I am a well-known sub in the district with many teachers raving about me.

It's been years and I hear that they are having problems getting subs. All I can say is...that's your problem! Seriously. This is not exactly the sort of school that can pick and choose here!

Thankfully, those weird schools are in the minority. There is another school district that apparently is really racist or weird. They made up some allegations about my mom and got her dropped from the system there. I have encountered a lot of subs of all races who say they avoid that school district, so I don't know what their problem is. Many kids from there, especially minorities, tell me they've been given very harsh lengths of time for detention for petty things or even kicked out for getting in one fight. This happened to one kid who never gave anyone trouble at the alternative school he went to after leaving his first school. Didn't look like he was even capable of starting trouble! I hope they get sued, I feel that day is coming.


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Unfortunately
Old 11-24-2019, 08:31 PM
 
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it sounds like your friend is not open to alternative opinions about his legal chances. Anybody can sue for any reason. Whether or not they prevail is an entirely different issue.

It seems he abandoned his job, that's very good reason for termination. Hopefully, he'll be able to collect unemployment benefits. If that's why he's considering a suit, I'd have his attorney friend go with him to the unemployment office if there is a hearing.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:36 PM
 
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He needs to ask himself "what will I gain from suing this district?"

Let's say he is successful and gets his job back. What is there to prevent the district from keeping copious records of everything he does?

I have seen this happen. At my last contracted teaching position I was a union rep. I sat in on an end of year evaluation that was not positive. There was much shouting on the part of all parties. The teacher was allowed to keep their job for the following year. The district and school admin did weekly walk-throughs and documented every little thing.

The district also demanded that the teacher read books on classroom management and report back what they had learned. They also required this teacher to visit grade level classrooms in other district schools and report back what they had learned from these visits. All of this evidence was used against the teacher at their mid year evaluation.

In the end the district "allowed" the teacher to resign stating health reasons.

You are correct, subs are "at will" employees. It is very likely that the district views his walking out as his resignation or job abandonment.

My advice is that he should move on and put this behind him.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:58 AM
 
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The only way I see this guy prevailing is to play the "gay" card. No matter the job, being gay is protected (like race, etc.). If they give his job back and start recording every little thing he does, that just gives him more ammunition that it is because he is gay. I don't know why you guys are talking to US about this. You should be talking to a lawyer.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:19 PM
 
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The main issue to me is that they won't even give us the dignity of defending ourselves. They just take us out of the system. Then they wonder why they are short subs lol. You think?
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:14 PM
 
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It is not up to him as to whether a lawsuit is filed.

It is up to a lawyer deciding whether or not he has a case.

Tell him to call as many labor law attorneys as he can that give "free consultations".

He will find out that way if he even has a case.

I have had a few situations in life where I was positive I was going to use.

After getting legal opinions on my situations I learned that while what happened wasn't ethical, it also was not illegal and I had no case.
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