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11 N.J.A.R. 510

Hardgrove, David v. Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Board of Education
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Citation: 11 N.J.A.R. 510
Decision Date: 1986
Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Synopsis: Petitioner sought an order of the COmmissioner of Education determining that his employment was improperly terminated by re- spondent board of education. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. Petitioner, a nontenured maintenance person, was injured in the course of his employment. At the time his employment contract ex- pired, petitioner was not medically fit to perform the duties of a maintenance person. Petitioner's employment was terminated. In his appeal, petitioner claimed he could not be terminated until his ac- cumulated sick leave was exhausted. He had to his credit 177 ac- cumulated sick leave days when he was terminated. Petitioner argued that sick leave accumulated pursuant to N.J.S./I. 18A:30-3 is a vested right which cannot be divested through termination. Respondent asserted that previous Commissioner of Education decisions had established that the statutory right to use or be paid for accumulated sick leave ends upon the lawful termination of employment. The administrative law judge assigned to the case agreed with respondent that prior Commissioner of Education decisions con- trolled the disposition of this matter. Sick leave is a type of insurance for employees while they are employed, but there is no vested right to accumulated sick leave after lawful termination. Petitioner's termin- ation was lawful, since it is permissible to terminate employment because of a disability which prevents an employee from performing the duties of the job. Petitioner's appeal was dismissed. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Com- State of New Jersey 511 missioner of Education. The decision of the Commissioner was af- firmed by the State Board of Education on July 2, 1986. The State Board decision was affirmed by the Appellate Division in an un- published opinion. (A25-86-T8, March 25, 1987.) The New Jersey Supreme Court denied a petition for certification. 108 N.J. 655 (1987). Stephen E. Klausher, Esq., for petitioner (Klausner & Hunter, at- torneys) Daniel C. Soriano, Jr., Esq., for respondent (Soriano & Gross, at- torneys)
Citation Tracker adopted-Com'r of Ed.; affirmed -St. Bd.; affirmed -App. Div. A25-86-T8, 3/25/87 (unreported); certif. den, 108 N.J. 655 (1987) [Updated through 1991]