The August 2014 issue of the NJASA Legal Research Publication Program is now available online to subscribers. Public school officials are often required to investigate allegations of employee misconduct in the workplace. During those investigations it is sometimes necessary to search an employee’s desk, computers, voicemail and other items. However, employees of public employers enjoy privacy rights guaranteed by the New Jersey and United States Constitutions. Part One of this Administrative Guide offered school officials guidance in conducting investigations that may involve searches of employees, their belongings, and/or work stations. Part Two continues the discussion, and in particular, discusses administrative searches of employees by metal detectors upon entering and exiting the building, as well as searches via video surveillance equipment.
In addition, the School News Briefs reviews three new cases, including one in which the Commissioner found that the board acted improperly by hiring a tennis coach who was not fully certified. The board was ordered to pay a stipend to the former coach who was not re-hired.
The August 2014 Impact on Negotiations reviews two new cases including one in which PERC found that a board did not commit an unfair practice by refusing to place long-term substitute teachers beyond step-one of the salary guide as substitute teachers were not part of the negotiations unit.