October 09, 2018

Suspension of an educator without pay upon being served with disciplinary charges of misconduct constituting physical or sexual abuse of a student after June 30, 2015


Suspension of an educator without pay upon being served with disciplinary charges of misconduct constituting physical or sexual abuse of a student after June 30, 2015
New York State Education Law §3020-a

On October 6, 2018, the Albany Times Union*reported that an elementary school teacher will resign from his position when he is sentenced after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. The educator was placed on leave with pay in April 2018 upon school officials learning that he was under investigation for allegedly "having inappropriate contact with a young girl during the 2010-11 school year.

It should be noted that §3020-a.2.c of the Education Law provides, in pertinent part, "Where charges of misconduct constituting physical or sexual abuse of a student are brought on or after July first, two thousand fifteen, the board of education may suspend the employee without pay pending an expedited hearing pursuant to subparagraph (i-a) of paragraph c of subdivision three of this section."

§3020-a.2.c  further provides that:

1. The Commissioner of Education "shall establish a process in regulations for a probable cause hearing before an impartial hearing officer within ten days to determine whether the decision to suspend an employee without pay pursuant to this paragraph  should be continued or reversed;"

2. In the event the hearing officer determines that no probable cause supports the charges, he or she shall reverse the decision of the board of education to suspend the employee without pay and reinstate such pay and [a] may also reinstate pay upon a written determination that a suspension without pay is grossly disproportionate in light of all surrounding circumstances; and [b] such an employee shall be eligible to receive reimbursement for withheld pay and accrued interest at a rate of six percent compounded annually if the hearing officer finds in his or her favor, either at the probable cause hearing or in a final determination pursuant to the expedited hearing held pursuant to subparagraph (i-a) of paragraph c of subdivision three of this section;

3. Such a suspension without pay "shall last no longer than one hundred and twenty days from the decision of the board of education to suspend the employee without pay and such suspension shall only relate to employee compensation, exclusive of other benefits and guarantees;" and

4. "Notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation to the contrary, any provision of a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the city of New York as of April first, two thousand fifteen, that provides for suspension without pay for offenses as specified in this paragraph shall supersede the provisions hereof and shall continue in effect without modification and may be extended." 

* The article is posted on the Internet at:

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