• A Massachusetts court upheld the right of a church-operated school to not renew a teacher’s annual contract on the basis of her union organizing activities. A Catholic parochial school provided one-year contracts to its teachers. The contract of one teacher, who had received uniformly positive performance reviews, was not renewed by the school because of her efforts to organize teachers into a union. The teacher sued the church, claiming that she had been improperly terminated and that her rights had been violated. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts noted that the school offered one-year contracts to its teachers, and that it had the right to decline to renew a contract for virtually any reason. It observed: “The school’s decision not to reappoint the [teacher] was simply a determination, within its complete discretion, to discontinue a relationship that had expired by the terms of the contract.” For the same reason, the court rejected the teacher’s claim that her “termination” violated public policy or any state civil rights statute. Willitts v. Roman Catholic Archbishop, 581 N.E.2d 475 (Mass. 1991).
See Also: Discharge and Discipline of Teachers
© Copyright 1993, 1998 by Church Law & Tax Report. All rights reserved. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Church Law & Tax Report, PO Box 1098, Matthews, NC 28106. Reference Code: m65 m43 c0193