1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

When does Performance Improvement Plan and non renewal becomes unlawful?

Discussion in 'Discrimination & Sexual Harassment' started by Sheroo, Jul 13, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Wisconsin
    Hi,

    I am a high school teacher and recently my contract was not renewed.

    Some background information:
    I am not white and I speak fluent English but with some, not heavy, accent. My English is perfectly comprehensible according to everyone who has communicated with me.

    I complained numerous times to my administrators and the HR director that I was racially harassed by some of my students. The students mostly couldn't be identified as they wrote/drew discriminatory message/graffiti such as swastika and 'Deport Mrs. (my last name)' on the classroom textbooks. Some students even said 'You can't speak English'. Some of my students laughed at me at many of my mispronunciation. I reported all of these to the administrators and HR prior to being placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and what followed afterward.

    I have a question regarding a Performance Improvement Plan and preliminary non renewal notice that eventually led to final non renewal. The whole process was unduly expedited to a point that I was not given any opportunity to improve my performance. When do these become unlawful? Are an unfair PIP and preliminary non renewal notice (eventually resulted in final non renewal) considered adverse employment actions? I am trying to find out if my experience rises to retaliation. Had I not complained of racial harassment, would my contract still be non renewed?

    First of all, I have never received any written feedback regarding my performance before being placed on a PIP. Neither was it communicated to me that I was not meeting performance expectations prior to before the PIP. However, I received numerous verbal counseling regarding students' and parents' complaints from the assistant principal who was also my evaluator. In my opinion, some of complaints stemmed from racial bias. The PIP lacked many essential components such as my current performance score, specific tasks or action steps to make improvement, and the expiration of the PIP. Despite my multiple requests, these were never provided.

    Secondly, after five (5) working days the PIP was instituted, I was put on a preliminary non renewal notice, fifty five (55) days before the statutory deadline for preliminary notice, with a reason that the administrators have not seen the growth they needed to see. I just had the first observation the day before I received the prelim notice without receiving a written feedback.

    Lastly, the School Board voted for a final non renewal one month after the preliminary notice was given, thirty seven (37) days before the statutory deadline for final non renewal notice. The reason for non renewal was performance. However, I was never given an opportunity to complete that poorly written PIP.

    In contrast, a white staff in the district school who was placed on a PIP was given three months to complete her PIP. She did not engage in a protected activity. She did not receive preliminary non renewal notice.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    314
    Trophy Points:
    63

    It's worth talking to a local employment attorney about your matter, however, I think you have an uphill battle.
     
  3. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for your comment!
    Can you explain what you mean by I have an uphill battle?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    314
    Trophy Points:
    63

    The school board voted to non-renew your contract. Are you saying that the school board is biased against you?
     
  5. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The union president for our school district told me this district has a pattern of discriminatory actions toward non-white staff. A regional union director and she (our district union president) who represented me were present at the appeal hearing before the board. They think the board is biased against me.
     
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    7,780
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Trophy Points:
    113

    There are no laws anywhere in the US directly addressing PIP plans.

    There are no laws that I know of directing employers when they can and cannot renew or non-renew a contract. When the contract is up, it's up. Unless such a right is expressly granted in the expiring contract, you do not have a right under the law for a renewal.

    If you believe that you can show that discrimination laws were violated, then by all means discuss it with an employment attorney. But there are no PIP laws or non-renewal laws specifically.
     
  7. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks!
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,428
    Likes Received:
    1,357
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You're not going to like this. You admit to speaking with an accent and often mispronounce things.

    Think about this from the point of view of the people listening to you who find you incomprehensible.

    I often have occasion to speak with outsourced customer service people with heavy foreign accents to the point where I have to interrupt and ask them to put somebody else on the phone in the hopes that I can understand what they are saying. I'm sure that those people believe that they speak fluent English, just like you do, and are insulted when I don't want to talk to them.

    So, before you start accusing anybody of discrimination, I suggest that the next couple of months would be wisely spent with a voice coach who can help you tame your accent. Actors do it successfully. So can you.
     
    Disabled Vet and hrforme like this.
  9. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    What makes you assume that I have heavy accents? I mispronounced students’ last names because some last names are very unfamiliar. Even native speakers of English do not always pronounce correctly.

    I have very little accent. My accent is not even noticeable and this comment is coming from my co-workers, not me. Before this school, I taught in Milwaukee for 3 years. Nobody complained of my accent or they couldn’t understand me. More importantly, it’s against law to reuqire ‘speaking perfect English’ unless it is required for a particular job such as teaching spoken English to foreign students.

    Complaints are from students who failed my classes (btw, I am a high math teacher). They wanted to blame somebody else why they couldn’t learn. These students have a history of failing previous math courses (I looked up their transcripts from middle school and discovered they got Ds and Fs).

    But because the administrators didn’t want to deal with students’ complaint it was easier for them to get rid of me.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,428
    Likes Received:
    1,357
    Trophy Points:
    113

    In that case, you are better off being out of that mess.
     
  11. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    7,780
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I still think it wouldn't hurt to discuss the entire matter with an employment attorney.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    30,055
    Likes Received:
    3,986
    Trophy Points:
    113


    If you SPEAK the way you WRITE, things are not as you say.
     
  13. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I am not here to be criticized so I would like to respectfully ask you to refrain from doing so, especially when you have no idea what I have been through. And I do not understand why you are being mean when I have done nothing to harm you. Even if it was true that my English is terrible (which isn't because I have seen much worse even though they are native speakers of English), it is against the law to demand 'perfect English' unless it is part of your essential duties to command perfect English. I was not hired to teach English, but to teach high school math.

    I am already deeply hurt by discriminatory treatments from some of my students and parents, the administrators and the district.

    If you read one of my previous replies, where I stated I never received any complaints about my accent or teaching skills from students/parents/administrators alike when I taught in Milwaukee for the last 3 years, I don't see any reason why you have to comment with CAPITALIZED words. Unless you point out every mistake in my English, which is better than that of average Americans (I know this from emails written by my students and parents) and have noting to offer, mind your own business. What do you have to gain being an internet troll?
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    30,055
    Likes Received:
    3,986
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I do not care what you have endured.


    That is your opinion.

    Again, I do not care.


    That is a question you might wish to ask one of your FORMER supervisors/managers.

    If that is TRUE, it was UNWISE of you to leave Milwaukee.



    That sentence should enlighten others.



    I am delighted to hear of your recent termination.

    I am giggling, guffawing, laughing, snorting, and smiling as I write this response.

    Good luck seeking a teaching position, once a school employer learns your contract was NOT renewed due to your failings and flaws.
     
  15. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I am so sorry to disappoint you because you have no idea how school districts work when it comes to hiring. Math is always in demand and short in supply because not many people are smart enough to be able to teach high school math. By August, when math teachers decided to notify their districts of their resignation (so that they could have health insurance covered until August) district have no luxury to pick and choose... because they have to fill vacant positions regardless!

    I will have no problems finding a position. Period.

    Good luck with your life when you don't have one. But I don't care.

    ps: it will be no use to reply because I blocked you (I mean 'ignored' you so your post won't show up) in my thread.
     
  16. Sheroo

    Sheroo Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for your encouragement!
     
  17. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    7,780
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I just want to be sure it is clear. I am not saying you have a clear cut case. I think it is POSSIBLE that you MIGHT have a case for discrimination IF you can show that there is no possible reason for the difference in treatment other than your national origin. But to sort that out, you will need the help of an attorney.
     
    Zigner likes this.

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.