The Third Department determined that the transfer of a school assistant superintendent to another job with lower pay did not violate the Education Law (pay reduction was not discipline) or due process (deprivation of property without due process of law):
… [W]e conclude that the term “discipline” in Education Law § 3020 refers not merely to action that has an adverse impact, but adverse action that is motivated by a punitive intent.
Case law applying and interpreting Education Law § 3020 supports our reading of the statute. “The purpose of [Education Law § 3020] is to protect [tenured educators] from arbitrary imposition of formal discipline. It was not intended to interfere with the day-to-day operation of the educational system” … . * * *
Petitioner’s reliance on cases involving employees covered under Civil Service Law § 75, which prohibits imposition of a “disciplinary penalty” without a hearing, is misplaced. While it has been held that a lateral transfer of a tenured civil service employee that results in a diminution of salary or benefits constitutes a form of discipline requiring compliance with the procedural safeguards of Civil Service Law § 75 … , this is so because Civil Service Law § 75 specifically provides that a “demotion in grade and title” constitutes a disciplinary penalty … . No comparable statutory language exists within the Education Law. * * *
Here, petitioner’s right to receive the specific level of compensation earned in his position as Assistant Superintendent derived not from any tenure rights granted under the Education Law, but solely from the terms of his employment contract. Such contract expired on June 30, 2012, prior to the alleged deprivation. Moreover, the contract makes clear that it does not provide for the payment of salary beyond that date and that renewal or extension of its terms could only be effectuated by agreement of the Board. Under these circumstances, petitioner did not have a constitutionally protected property interest in the compensation and benefits derived from his employment contract beyond its June 30, 2012 expiration date … . Matter of Soriano v Elia, 2017 NY Slip Op 08431, Third Dept 11-30-17
EDUCATION-SCHOOL LAW (EMPLOYMENT LAW, TRANSFER OF ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TO A LOWER PAYING JOB WAS NOT DISCIPLINE UNDER THE EDUCATION LAW AND DID NOT CONSTITUTE A DUE PROCESS VIOLATION (THIRD DEPT))/EMPLOYMENT LAW (EDUCATION-SCHOOL LAW, TRANSFER OF ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TO A LOWER PAYING JOB WAS NOT DISCIPLINE UNDER THE EDUCATION LAW AND DID NOT CONSTITUTE A DUE PROCESS VIOLATION (THIRD DEPT))