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Public employees’ contracts don’t provide ‘property interest’

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in Firing,Human Resources

Texas public employees who work under a contract don’t have a property interest in that job once the contract expires. That means they can’t sue for deprivation of property.

Recent case: Arthur Rendon taught for 24 years in the Brownsville Independent School District. Each year, he signed a new contract that specified the agreement would expire at the end of its term. It did not guarantee continued employment.

When Rendon’s contract expired and he was not offered a new one, he sued. His allegation? That he had complained about wrongdoing and was being punished for doing so. He claimed he had a constitutionally protected interest in the job.

The court disagreed, explaining that it was clear each contract stood alone. (Rendon v. Brownsville Independent School District, No. 10-CV-198, SD TX, 2011)

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