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November 14, 2011

Reinstatement following layoff focuses on tenure rights

Reinstatement following layoff focuses on tenure rights
Chauvel v. Nyquist, 55 AD2 76, affd., 43 NY2 48)

Does “greater system-wide service” control situations involving layoff of teachers, or is it seniority in corresponding or similar positions that determines which person is to be offered an open teaching position first?

Where the performance of duties of the open position is unquestionably “similar” to those of the abolished positions, the teacher having the greater seniority in the performance area, not in the employing school district itself, is to receive the appointment.

Standards for such re-employment are more narrow than those dealing with layoff (Ward v. Nyquist, 43 NY2d 57) so as to prevent erosion of the tenure rights of the incumbents of abolished positions and means that the duties required to be performed in the vacant position must be similar to the duties performed by the person in his previous position before it was abolished. A test was stated in Matter of Elkins, 14 Ed Dept Repts 193, to the effect that if more than one-half of the functions to be performed by the incumbent of the new position are those which he performed in his old position, the positions are similar.

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