Refusing to accept the resignation submitted by an employee
The Commissioner said that as a general rule, "... a board of education has the unfettered right to terminate a probationary teacher or administrator’s employment for any reason, unless the employee establishes that he or she was terminated for a constitutionally impermissible reason or in violation of a statutory proscription or decisional law.”
Technically, in this instance the school district elected to ignore Petitioner's resignation rather than refuse it as an appointing authority may not “refuse to accept” a resignation tendered by an officer or an employee and the resignation becomes operative upon its delivery to the appointing authority. Indeed, the officer or employee usually may not withdraw or rescind his or her resignation once it has been delivered to the appointing authority without the approval of the appointing authority.
Although an appointing authority may acknowledge the "receipt" of a resignation received from an officer or an employee or report that an individual's resignation has been accepted, all that is required for a resignation to become operative is its delivery to the appointing authority. In other words, the approval or acceptance of the resignation is not required for the resignation to take effect unless specific acceptance of a resignation is required by law, rule, regulation or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (see Hazelton v Connelly, 25 NYS2d 74).
As an example of a situation where the acceptance of a resignation is mandated by statute, §2111 of the Education Law provides that an officer of a school district may "resign at a district meeting" or, in the alternative, the officer "shall also be deemed to have resigned if he filed a written resignation with the district superintendent of his district and such superintendent endorses thereon his approval and files the same with the district clerk" [emphasis supplied].