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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5211
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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I am a principal at a school district in Arizona, I have

Customer Question

I am a principal at a school district in Arizona, I have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. I would like to know what my rights are.
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Arizona
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: All I was told is that it is under investigation and was placed on administrative leave. I was asked to resign last month from the new superintendent which I did. I have recently been offered a new position and I am concerned that this investigation will impact the new job. Also I am requesting payout of my unused vacation time, but the district will only pay of I leave in good standing.
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: ok thank you
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have been at the same school for 7 years, and have always received excellent evaluations. I am not sure what I did to be place on Administrative leave.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with Just Answer. I'll be here to help today! Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? By the way, the system will automatically ask for a phone call. By no means are you required to accept it.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

You don't have to give me your name, but if you give me your school district's name, I may be able to help.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
San Carlos Unified School District, San Carlos AZ
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Understood, one moment...

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Ok, so I tried reviewing whether the employee policies are online, but they do not have them. Are you a part of a union? If so, have you spoken with your union rep?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am not part of a union
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

This is extremely interesting. Well, if that's the case, I can tell you the two main legal issues that come up and what you can do about them. One moment...

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

1. This appears to be a violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In every contract, there is an implied covenant (promise) that each party will act fairly and not try to interrupt the benefit the other party is going to receive from the contract. In your employment agreement, the district agreed impliedly not to interfere with your ability to stay employed. By putting you on admin. leave with no explanation, they are potentially violating that covenant. You may want to consider just writing a demand letter requesting an explanation. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here).

2. There is an issue of breach of contract. If your employment agreement says that you are required to be given notice and a hearing before being put on leave (for example) and they did not do that, then there is a strong possibility that they may owe you for every day that you are out of work.

You may want to consider hiring an employment attorney to help you with this matter as well (click here). The State Bar of Arizona also has a lawyer search function that can help you find an employment attorney who is adept to help you out (click here).

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Follow up questions are free so did you have any additional questions? If not, were you satisfied with my service today?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** leave was with pay, however, I am concerned about my reputation and that the district will place an under investigation tag on my records. If an under investigation is placed on my record I am concerned about getting another position. Also, under School Board Policy it states that I can only receive my vacation buy back if I leave the district under good terms.
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

I can certainly understand. I believe that most issues people have can be resolved without getting a lawyer. But given your authority; given San Carlos' small community (I'm originally from AZ - Phoenix); and given the delicate nature of being "under investigation" when you work with children, the risks are way too high. Check out those links I provided. You may be able to find a free or low cost lawyer if you qualify. Nonetheless, what you pay an attorney will be far less than the damage to your reputation throughout the state.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Did you have any follow up questions? If not, were you satisfied with my service today?