Thank you for the follow up responses. I also want to apologize for my two typos that I just noticed.
1. NJ is an at-will employment state. This means that either side can generally end the relationship without any good reason. There are a few exceptions in the law that state that an employer cannot fire you based on things like age or race. They also can't fire employees
who are under a contract
2. If your understanding is that the REAL reason she is not being rehired is budget issues, then I fear there is not much that can be done by the way of a lawsuit.
3. If, however, if they are using budget issues as a pretext to cover for another REAL reason, then a lawsuit may be worth exploring. For example, you are saying that they still are hiring the superintendent's friends/relatives. This tends to indicate to me that budget is not as big of a concern for the employer as you may have initially believed it to be.
4. When deciding who to re-hire each year, the employer may not choose interview candidates nor make hiring decisions based on discriminatory factors, such as age, race or gender. They also cannot base such decisions on disabilities your wife may have that are irrelevant to her ability to do the job.
So, based on the above information, you may want to speak with a local employment law attorney to explore the intimate facts and details of the circumstances surrounding your wife's denial and see if there is an attorney that is willing to take your case on a contingency fee basis. This will not be easy to find; but paying by the hour to prosecute such a case may be cost prohibitive as well.
While we are not permitted to refer a lawyer to you, you may want to contact your NJ state bar:
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