What does the Term Due Process mean?
Public employees, including education employees, may not have their “property right” or “liberty rights” taken without due process of the law. Liberty rights include such things as a person’s reputation(i.e.being accused of acts that damaging to your reputation). Property rights may include the right to keep a job. To have a property right in a job, there must be a reasonable expextation of continued employment. The expectation of continued employment could be based upon the state law such as tenure or an employment contract; a “just cause” provision in a collective bargaining agreement. An employee’s belief that he or she will continued to be employed is not sufficient.
The amount of process which is due varies considerable from situation to situation. It does not necessarily require all the rights normally given in a court proceeding. The more serious the penalty(i.e.discharge) the more “process” is required. The minimum process is a notice of the charge, a discussion of the proof against the employee, and some opportunity to respond. More rights are often given by statute or contract,
For a further explanation or questions about this topic feel free to contact your UniServe Director.