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November 21, 2011

Claim for back pay denied


Claim for back pay denied
Golomb v. Board of Education, 106 Misc. 2d 264, 92 A.D.2d 256

A probationary teacher was terminated by the principal. One year later she was reinstated by the Chancellor of the Board of Education, City of New York because he did not agree with the recommendation to terminate.

The teacher then sued for back salary.

The Court denied the award of back pay stating that the teacher “has no basis for her claim to entitlement of back pay upon her reinstatement...An employee who has not worked has not delivered consideration for the payment of wages. Thus in the absence of a statute requiring the payment of back pay upon reinstatement, a public body is not required to pay back wages since such a payment would be an unconstitutional gift of funds.”

 It should be noted, however, that where there has been an unlawful removal from service, back pay is authorized upon reinstatement. In these cases the Court found that the teacher had no independent right to permanent employment. Her termination was viewed as lawful and therefore she was not entitled to back salary.

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