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A position I have held for four years is now being changed and being posted. Do I have any legal recourse?

Friday April 19, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am a nurse at a private school and have a 10-month contract that ends in June. My administrator informed me that they are changing the parameters of the school nurse position and will be posting the position. I was told I could apply for this new position. I have not resigned and have been with this school for four years. Do I have any legal recourse?

Stephanie



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Stephanie,

Without a review of your contract with the private school, it would be impossible to evaluate whether or not you have any legal recourse in this situation. A specific answer would be best obtained by consulting with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works in the area of school law and represents school personnel or an attorney who concentrates in contract law.

A pivotal issue will be the length of time of the contracts you worked under. It is assumed that at the end of a 10-month contract, you and the school entered into a new one. If the contracts did not specify a continuing contract of employment for you, you may have little recourse.

However, other provisions in the contract may grant you rights concerning termination of the current contract and entering into a new one, such as the time frame within which the school must notify you if they are not going to rehire you or open the position to others and how that notice is to be given to you.

The consultation with the attorney you select should be done as soon as possible in order to protect any rights you may have under the contract.

Sincerely,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.