A teacher filed a grievance with his former employer, requesting a “name clearing” regarding the circumstances surrounding his nonrenewal from the district three years earlier. The grievance was dismissed by the district’s board of trustees on the grounds that it had not been filed in accordance with the timelines established by the district’s grievance policy, which required the teacher to file a grievance within 15 days from the day that he first “knew or should have known” about the events that formed the basis of the complaint. The teacher filed an appeal with the commissioner of education.

The commissioner found that the teacher’s contract was nonrenewed by the district in March 2012. The teacher did not attempt to request a hearing regarding the nonrenewal at that time. About two months after being nonrenewed, the teacher was placed on administrative leave with pay due to allegations of misconduct made against him by a student. The teacher did not file a grievance at that time regarding being placed on administrative leave with pay. 

In January 2015, the teacher was acquitted of the criminal charges related to the allegations of misconduct for which he had been placed on leave.  Two months later, he filed an application for employment with the district and was informed that he was ineligible for rehire. At this point, he filed a grievance, alleging that the district had failed to conduct an adequate investigation regarding the allegations made against him.

The commissioner of education found that the teacher failed to file a grievance in a timely manner. If he wanted to contest the allegations and the adequacy of the investigation conducted by the district, he should have done so at the time he was investigated and nonrenewed.