H. B. 2017
(By Delegate Wells)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Education then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-39, relating to
providing nonsupervisory employees of the West Virginia State
Board of Education with the same protections against summary
dismissal as are applicable to employees of county boards of
education through continuing contracts and dismissal for
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-39, to read as
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-39. Employment of nonsupervisory employees; definitions;
contracts; continuing contract status; how terminated for cause; dismissal for lack of need;
and release time.
_____(a) The following definitions apply for purposes of this
_____(1) "Board" means the West Virginia Board of Education.
_____(2) "Comparable employment" means employment in a regular full
time position which has substantially similar salary, benefits and
required skill level as the position previously held by the
employee with the board.
_____(3) "Employee" means any regular full-time employee of the
West Virginia Board of Education assigned to any facility who is
not a supervisor as defined in this section.
_____(4) "Employer" means the West Virginia Board of Education.
_____(5) "Supervisor" means any regular full time employee having
responsibility and authority, in the interest of the employer, to
hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge,
assign, reward, discipline, direct the work force, adjust
grievances or effectively recommend such action if the exercise of
authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature.
_____(b) Before entering upon their duties, all employees shall
execute a contract with the board stating the salary to be paid and
be in the form prescribed by the State Superintendent. Each
contract shall be signed by the employee and by the president of
the board and be filed by the State Superintendent.
_____(c) An employee's contract, under this section, shall be for
a term of not less than one nor more than three years. If, after
three years of employment, the employee and the board enter into a
new contract of employment, it shall be a continuing contract.
_____(d) The continuing contract of any employee remains in full
force and effect except as modified by mutual consent of the board
and the employee, unless and until terminated, subject to the
_____(1) A continuing contract may not be terminated except:
_____(A) By a majority vote of the full membership of the board on
or before the first Monday of April of the then current year, after
written notice, served upon the employee, return receipt requested,
stating cause or causes and an opportunity to be heard at a meeting
of the board prior to the board's action on the termination issue;
_____(B) By written resignation of the employee before that date to
initiate termination of a continuing contract;
_____(2) The termination takes effect at the close of the fiscal
year in which the contract is terminated;
_____(3) The contract may be terminated at any time by mutual
consent of the board and the employee;
_____(4) This section does not affect the powers of the school
board to suspend or dismiss an employee pursuant to subsections
(f), (g) and (h) of this section;
_____(5) A continuing contract does not operate to prevent an
employee's dismissal based upon the lack of need for the employee's
services. In case of dismissal for lack of need, a dismissed
employee shall be placed upon a preferred list in the order of
their length of service with that board. No employee may be
employed by the board until each qualified employee upon the
preferred list, in order, has been offered the opportunity for
reemployment in a position for which he or she is qualified, not
including an employee who has accepted comparable employment
elsewhere. The reemployment is upon the employee's preexisting
continuing contract and has the same effect as though the contract
had been suspended during the time the employee was not employed.
_____(e) In the assignment of position or duties of an employee
under a continuing contract, the board may provide for released
time of an employee for any special professional or governmental
assignment without jeopardizing the contractual rights of the
employee or any other rights, privileges or benefits under the
provisions of this chapter.
_____(f) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the board may
suspend or dismiss any person in its employment at any time for
immorality, incompetency, cruelty, insubordination, intemperance,
willful neglect of duty, unsatisfactory performance, the conviction
of a felony or a guilty plea or a plea of nolo contendere to a
_____(g) A charge of unsatisfactory performance may not be made
except as the result of an employee performance evaluation pursuant
to policy adopted by the board for evaluation of employees
consistent with the principles and procedures set out in section
twelve of this article. The charges shall be stated in writing and
served upon the employee within two days of presentation of the
charges to the board.
_____(h) The affected employee shall be given an opportunity,
within five days of receiving the written notice, to request, in
writing, a level three hearing and appeals pursuant to the
provisions of article two, chapter six-c of this code, except that
dismissal for the conviction of a felony or guilty plea or plea of
nolo contendere to a felony charge is not by itself a grounds for
a grievance proceeding. An employee charged with the commission of
a felony may be reassigned to duties which do not involve direct
interaction with pupils pending final disposition of the charges.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide nonsupervisory
employees of the West Virginia State Board of Education with the
same protections against summary dismissal as are applicable to
employees of county boards of education through continuing
contracts and dismissal for cause.
This section is new; therefore, it has been completely