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Section V:

Human Resources


Employee Relations


Appendix A, General Statutes Pertaining to Personnel Procedures for DHHS Educators

Current Effective Date:


Revision History:


Original Effective Date:



1. NCGS Chapter 115C, Article 21A (Privacy of Employee Personnel Records)

2. 115C-325 System of Employment for Public School Teachers

3. Possible Grievance Routes Under GS 115C-325 as Amended in 1997 and 1999 by the Excellent Schools Act


4. Article 21A

Privacy of Employee Personnel Records.

115C-319. Personnel files not subject to inspection.

Personnel files of employees of local boards of education, former employees of local boards of education, or applicants for employment with local boards of education shall not be subject to inspection and examination as authorized by G.S. 132-6. For purposes of this Article, a personnel file consists of any information gathered by the local board of education which employs an individual, previously employed an individual, or considered an individual's application for employment, and which information relates to the individual's application, selection or nonselection, promotion, demotion, transfer, leave, salary, suspension, performance evaluation, disciplinary action, or termination of employment wherever located or in whatever form. (1987, c. 571, s. 1.)

115C-320. Certain records open to inspection.

Each local board of education shall maintain a record of each of its employees, showing the following information with respect to each employee: name, age, date of original employment or appointment, current position, title, current salary, date and amount of most recent increase or decrease in salary, date of most recent promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification, and the office or station to which the employee is currently assigned. Subject only to rules and regulations for the safekeeping of records adopted by the local board of education, every person having custody of the records shall permit them to be inspected and examined and copies made by any person during regular business hours. Any person who is denied access to any record for the purpose of inspecting, examining or copying the record shall have a right to compel compliance with the provisions of this section by application to a court of competent jurisdiction for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate relief. (1987, c.571, s. 1.)

115C-321. Confidential information in personnel files; access to information.

All information contained in a personnel file, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, is confidential and shall not be open for inspection and examination except to the following persons:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, any superintendent may, in his discretion, or shall at the direction of the Board of Education, inform any person or corporation of any promotion, demotion, suspension, reinstatement, transfer, separation, dismissal, employment or nonemployment of any applicant, employee or former employee employed by or assigned to the local board of education or whose personnel file is maintained by the board and the reasons therefor and may allow the personnel file of the person or any portion to be inspected and examined by any person or corporation provided that the board has determined that the release of the information or the inspection and examination of the file or any portion is essential to maintaining the integrity of the board or to maintaining the level or quality of services provided by the board; provided, that prior to releasing the information or making the file or any portion available as provided herein, the superintendent shall prepare a memorandum setting forth the circumstances which he and the board deem to require the disclosure and the information to be disclosed. The memorandum shall be retained in the files of the superintendent and shall be a public record. (1987, c. 571, s. 1.)

Part 3. Principal and Teacher Employment Contracts.

115C-325. System of employment for public school teachers.

(a) Definition of Terms. -- As used in this section unless the context requires otherwise:

(b) Personnel Files. -- The superintendent shall maintain in his office a personnel file for each teacher that contains any complaint, commendation, or suggestion for correction or improvement about the teacher's professional conduct, except that the superintendent may elect not to place in a teacher's file (i) a letter of complaint that contains invalid, irrelevant, outdated, or false information or (ii) a letter of complaint when there is no documentation of an attempt to resolve the issue. The complaint, commendation, or suggestion shall be signed by the person who makes it and shall be placed in the teacher's file only after five days' notice to the teacher. Any denial or explanation relating to such complaint, commendation, or suggestion that the teacher desires to make shall be placed in the file. Any teacher may petition the local board of education to remove any information from his personnel file that he deems invalid, irrelevant, or outdated. The board may order the superintendent to remove said information if it finds the information is invalid, irrelevant, or outdated.

The personnel file shall be open for the teacher's inspection at all reasonable times but shall be open to other persons only in accordance with such rules and regulations as the board adopts. Any preemployment data or other information obtained about a teacher before his employment by the board may be kept in a file separate from his personnel file and need not be made available to him. No data placed in the preemployment file may be introduced as evidence at a hearing on the dismissal or demotion of a teacher, except the data may be used to substantiate G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)g. or G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)o. as grounds for dismissal or demotion.

(c) (1) Election of a Teacher to Career Status. --Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, when a teacher has been employed by a North Carolina public school system for four consecutive years, the board, near the end of the fourth year, shall vote upon whether to grant the teacher career status. The board shall give the teacher written notice of that decision by June 15. If a majority of the board votes to grant career status to the teacher, and if it has notified the teacher of the decision, it may not rescind that action but must proceed under the provisions of this section for the demotion or dismissal of a teacher if it decides to terminate the teacher's employment. If a majority of the board votes against granting career status, the teacher shall not teach beyond the current school term. If the board fails to vote on granting career status:

(d) Career Teachers and Career School Administrators.

(e) Grounds for Dismissal or Demotion of a Career Employee.

(f) (1) Suspension without Pay. -- If a superintendent believes that cause exists for dismissing a career employee for any reason specified in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) and that immediate suspension of the career employee is necessary, the superintendent may suspend the career employee without pay. Before suspending a career employee without pay, the superintendent shall meet with the career employee and give him written notice of the charges against him, an explanation of the bases for the charges, and an opportunity to respond. Within five days after a suspension under this paragraph, the superintendent shall initiate a dismissal, demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay as provided in this section. If it is finally determined that no grounds for dismissal, demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay exist, the career employee shall be reinstated immediately, shall be paid for the period of suspension, and all records of the suspension shall be removed from the career employee's personnel file.

(g) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(h) Procedure for Dismissal or Demotion of Career Employee.

(i) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(j) Hearing by a Case Manager. -- The following provisions shall apply to a hearing conducted by the case manager.

(k), (l) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(m) Probationary Teacher.

(n) Appeal. -- Any career employee who has been dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C-325(e)(2), or under G.S. 115C-325(j2), or who has been suspended without pay under G.S. 115C-325(a)(4a), or any school administrator whose contract is not renewed in accordance with G.S. 115C-287.1, or any probationary teacher whose contract is not renewed under G.S. 115C-325(m)(2) shall have the right to appeal from the decision of the board to the superior court for the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the career employee is employed. This appeal shall be filed within a period of 30 days after notification of the decision of the board. The cost of preparing the transcript shall be determined under G.S. 115C-325(j2)(8) or G.S. 115C-325(j3)(10). A career employee who has been demoted or dismissed, or a school administrator whose contract is not renewed, who has not requested a hearing before the board of education pursuant to this section shall not be entitled to judicial review of the board's action.

(o) Resignation; Nonrenewal of Contract. -- A teacher, career or probationary, should not resign without the consent of the superintendent unless he has given at least 30 days' notice. If the teacher does resign without giving at least 30 days' notice, the board may request that the State Board of Education revoke the teacher's certificate for the remainder of that school year. A copy of the request shall be placed in the teacher's personnel file.

A probationary teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the next school year shall be notified of this fact by June 15.

(p) Section Applicable to Certain Institutions. --Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, this section shall apply to all persons employed in teaching and related educational classes in the schools and institutions of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Correction or the Office of Juvenile Justice regardless of the age of the students.

(q) Procedure for Dismissal of School Administrators and Teachers Employed in Low-Performing Schools.

Possible Grievance Routes Under G.S. 115C-325 as Amended in 1997 and 1999 by the Excellent Schools Act

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact Human Resources. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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