The following was included in TCTA's 2019-20 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2019 but is subject to change. The information below is for information purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for advice from an attorney.

Most complaints regarding a public school employee’s rights or conditions of employment should be addressed through the district’s grievance procedure. The time limits for initiating a grievance are extremely short, typically 15 days or less from the time the employee knew or should have known of the event for which the grievance is filed. Legal rights to appeal could be permanently lost if these time limits are not followed. For this reason, members with potential school employment-related problems should call the TCTA Legal Department at 888-879-8282 immediately for advice.

Pursuant to a TCTA-initiated law, a grievance alleging a violation of law by a supervisor need not be filed with the same supervisor. Another TCTA-initiated law allows an employee to make an audio recording of any meeting or proceeding at which the substance of a grievance is discussed. Still another TCTA-initiated law allows teachers to be represented via teleconferences, subject to availability of necessary equipment. 

During the 2019 session, the law protecting employees from any adverse employment action for reporting abuse or neglect in good faith was expanded. Previous law only protected against termination or suspension. Adverse employment action is “an action that affects an employee’s compensation, promotion, transfer, work assignment, or performance evaluation, or any other employment action that would dissuade a reasonable employee from making or supporting a report of abuse or neglect.”

See also FAQs: When called to the principal’s office.