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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5767
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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My wife was fired as a para-professional teacher's aid. She

Customer Question

My wife was fired as a para-professional teacher's aid. She developed cancer and had her hip replaced June of 2014. She went back to her elementary school, a building of 3 floors over 100 years old. The salary was 20k but SHE HAD FULL BENEFITS.
I'm on disability but have a Masters in Public Administration. My second job has to install an elevator in the Montclair Public Safety Building. Her work reviews have been perfect.
We want her job for next year.
The BoE is under a state cap. Its just money. A lawsuit should allow them to reconsider.
What are my options?
Rick Venanzi
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your post. I am a licensed New Jersey professional and will do my best to assist you with your concerns.
While it may just be 'money', likewise a suit has to have a basis to be successful. What was the reason told to your spouse as to her termination? What happened, exactly? I need to know so that I could evaluate options, and whether or not a lawsuit is possible or if their termination was lawful. Please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
NJ BoEs, as as any NJ public entity are under a cap from the State. Roselle Park fires ALL of their Paras every year so they will not accrue tenure. She has been there about fifteen years. She had not been in class for months... she has drop foot from the surgery. As someone who spent 25 years in municipal government, you don't fire someone who has $400k in medical bills.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I will go ahead and opt out as I suspect my answers and your beliefs may not be compatible. Hopefully a different professional will be able to assist. Please take care and good luck to you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your time
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.
Welcome. My name is Maverick. I very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from the information or assistance that I provide.
Need a clarification or too please:
1. If they fire all there Paras every year, then how did she make it 15 years. Are you saying they fired her 15 times and then rehired her for the next school year?
2. What is your understanding of the REAL reason SHE was permanently discharged?
3. Was it due to her medical bills?
4. Does she have a disability that they do not want to accommodate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Yes.
2. It's a "budget thing". Yet they are making jobs for the Superintendent's friends/relatives. One teacher was discharged ONE DAY before her tenure kicked-in.
3. No. BC/BS adjusts your rate according to experience.
4. Melanoma caused her to have her lymph nodes in her left arm removed, 4 months later her spleen. And last year her left hip socket and pelvic bone was deteriorated. The surgery resulted in "droop-foot" or neuropathy. She walks with a cane and a brace on her left foot.We have 24 doctors on our cell phones. Prior to two years ago she was only out for 3 days to have her kidney stones blasted. She is the only Para in the school system with a teaching degree and active state certificate.Sorry I took so long. I have to make dinner and I am the houseboy. Her mobility is not what it was.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife will be 60 in August. The teacher's pension plan does not include the Paras past retirement. If she does go out on permanent disability, that would mean the Affordable Care Act.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.
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 without consequences.
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:
http://www.njsba.com/for-the-public/index.html
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