Paraprofessionals will no longer be suspended without pay for long periods without due process while their cases are being investigated.
- Prior to a paraprofessional being suspended without pay in connection with an arrest or an investigation, the Office of Personnel Investigations (OPI) will conduct a review. If OPI finds that the allegations constitute serious or sexual misconduct, the paraprofessional may be suspended without pay for up to two months while the case is under investigation. The two months can be extended to three if an arbitrator finds probable cause.
- If OPI finds that the allegation is a significant violation of a DOE rule or policy or of the law but does not constitute “serious misconduct” or “sexual misconduct,” the DOE may request a probable cause hearing with a neutral arbitrator. If the arbitrator finds that the violation is significant, the paraprofessional can be suspended without pay for up to two months. But if an arbitrator finds that the DOE does not have probable cause for a suspension, the paraprofessional will be returned to school or reassigned with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
- If after an investigation, the allegations against the paraprofessional are found to be unsubstantiated, within 30 days the paraprofessional will receive back pay for the amount of time of the suspension without pay.