July 23, 2018

Terminated educator alleges that her employer breached the employment agreement and negligently terminated her


Terminated educator alleges that her employer breached the employment agreement  and negligently terminated her
Morrison v Buffalo Board of Education, et al, USCA, 2nd Circuit, No. 17-3496-cv

A school administrator, [Plaintiff] terminated from her position, sued the City of Buffalo Board of Education [District] and numerous individual administrators alleging breach of her employment agreement [Agreement] and "negligent termination."

The genesis of Plaintiff's termination was her alleged failure to obtain the professional certifications required by the Agreement. 

Although Plaintiff acknowledged that she held only a Florida certification at the time she applied for a position with the District, she contended that she “truthfully declared” her lack of a valid New York certification during the application process and was hired nonetheless." Plaintiff further alleged that when, during her first week on the job, she was directed to apply for interstate certification reciprocity, she promptly did so and said that  "the New York State Department of Education awarded her a conditional School Building Leader certificate [and] she was directed to apply for a School District Leader  internship certificate, which certificate she received in March 2014.

Accordingly, Plaintiff asserted that she was "adequately certified" at the time of her termination in April 2014.

The Circuit Court vacated that part of the district court's decision concerning Plaintiff's  breach of contract claim, affirming the lower court's ruling "in all other respects," explaining that "In dismissing the breach of contract claim, the district court here determined that [Plaintiff] failed to satisfy a contractual condition requiring her to maintain certain professional certifications and, thus, that [the District] did not violate the Agreement by terminating her employment. Because the first conclusion cannot be reached as a matter of law on the present record, [district court] dismissal was premature." 

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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