Legal Services: Power when YOU NEED IT
Legal Issues May Impact You
If you have legal difficulties on the job, don’t assume the school district will protect you.
- Your job can be threatened through disciplinary action, or by the school district violating the employment rights provided through school district policy or the negotiated labor agreement.
- Your job and your licensure may be threatened by evaluation systems linked to the performance of your students or that of your entire school.
- You can be sued for damages by parents or a student.
- You can be charged with an employment-related crime, such as child abuse, or harassment.
Your Membership Helps If Your Job Standing is in Jeopardy
Whether you are called to a disciplinary meeting, receive a reprimand or other disciplinary measure, your Local NEANM member leaders are your first line of defense. They are trained as first contacts for advice and representation in meetings with your supervisor(s). Most grievances are resolved at this level. If you need more assistance, a NEANM UniServ Director advises your local leaders.
In the event of a threat to your job such as termination, NEA-NM provides staff to represent you in formal hearings with the school district. In the unlikely event your dispute with the school district requires a legal challenge in state or federal court, NEA-NM may provide legal counsel in accordance with NEA-NM Board Policy.
NEA-New Mexico members have additional protection when threatened with criminal or civil legal action from the Educators Employment Liability (EEL) Insurance Program provided at no premium cost to you with your NEA membership.
Real or Potential Criminal Charges Against You
If you are under investigation for an alleged crime or are threatened with criminal charges, contact your local president who will contact the local NEA-NM UniServ Director. Do not discuss the specific allegations or investigation with anyone except the UniServ Director and your attorney. Members have the needed coverage when investigations are imminent or underway but no charges have been filed.
Possible Civil Actions Against You
The National Education Association (NEA) and NEA-New Mexico (NEA-NM) believe it is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with insurance to protect you from personal financial liability stemming from employment related lawsuits. In New Mexico, this is the coverage required by the Tort Claims Act. Unfortunately, employers often sacrifice employees in order to limit potential damages against them. EEL is secondary coverage to that required by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act.
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