Scope of Section 8-909 Disqualification
The statute in question provides that benefits based on
covered service in an instructional capacity cannot be paid
between academic years if reasonable assurance is present.
However, this provision does not operate to deny the claimant
any benefits to which he may be entitled based upon other
service. In this case, the claimant had reasonable assurance
within the meaning of Section 8-909(b). He was denied benefits
based upon his earnings with Essex Community College for
the period between academic years that began in June, 1989.
The claimant was not disqualified by this section from receiving
benefits based on other covered service, if he was otherwise
eligible. Schultz v. Essex Community College, 948-BR-89.
B. Applicability of Section 8-909(b)
Prior to the summer of 1989, the claimant was a 12-month
employee of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Therefore,
this is not a case of unemployment during a period between
two successive terms or during an established vacation
period. Englemeyer v. Anne Arundel County Public Schools, 946-BR-89.
Section 8-909 disqualifies claimants from receiving benefits based
on the covered service for the educational institution.
The penalty automatically expires at the end of the summer
vacation period. Therefore, the claimant is disqualified
from receiving benefits based on covered service with
this employer from the week beginning August 19, 1990
until September 3, 1990. McKinney v. Howard County Board of Education, 1197-BR-90.
The claimant's penalty under Section 8-909(b)(i) applies during the period
between two successive academic years or terms. Therefore,
the claimant is disqualified for having reasonable assurance
that she would return to work during the 1991-92 academic
year. The disqualification, however, should end at the
beginning of that academic year. Martin v. Harford County Public Schools, 33-BR-92.
Section 8-909(b)(i) does not apply to any claims for benefits
which the claimant filed for weeks prior to and subsequent
to the summer vacation period. Weissenberg v. Montgomery
County Public Schools, 2151-BR-92.
C. Applicability of Section 8-909(c)
The claimant substitute custodian, who could have worked
12 months per year, was separated from employment in July
(after the end of the academic year) when he was "bumped"
by a more senior permanent custodian, and recalled prior
to the beginning of the academic year. The claimant's
period of unemployment has no relationship to the period
between two successive academic years as contemplated
under Section 8-909(c). Rather, the claimant was laid
off when he was bumped by a more senior employee, with
the possibility of recall. There is no disqualification
under Section 8-909(c). Ritchie v. Allegany County Board of Education, 205-BR-85.
The claimant was an office worker at Towson State University. On May
2, 1986, he signed a contract to return to work on August
25, 1986, and in fact did return to work with Towson State
University (although he later resigned in December, 1986).
The claimant admitted that he signed the contract and
his explanation of why he still felt he did not have reasonable
assurance of returning in the fall was not credible. The
claimant had reasonable assurance of a job within the
meaning of Section 8-909(c). Wagner v. Towson State University, 725-BR-88.
The claimant was employed as a crossing guard for the City of Annapolis
Police Department for over four years. Each year she worked
when school was in session and she was off during the
summer. Her last day of work for the 1989-90 school year
was June 13, 1990. The claimant was given reasonable assurance
that she would be returning to her job in September at
the start of the new school year, and in fact she did
so. The work that the claimant performed under the employ
of the City of Annapolis Police Department was on behalf
of an educational institution, the City of Annapolis school
system. Therefore, a disqualification under Section 8-909(c)
was applicable. Wingate v. City of Annapolis, 14-BH-91.
The claimant was employed by Baltimore City as a "hall monitor" and
was clearly not employed in an instructional, research
or principal administrative capacity. The Board held that
Section 8-909(c) was applicable. There was no evidence
that the claimant's name and social security number was
included on a list provided DLLR for all employees performing
covered employment who have "reasonable assurance". Additionally,
the claimant did not receive direct notification of reasonable
assurance of employment for the ensuing school year. The
Board therefore found that the claimant was not given
reasosnable assurance. White v. Sundry Educational Services. 03251-BR-97.
D. Educational Institution and Educational Service Agency Under Section
A private, nonprofit corporation that leases space from
schools and conducts day-care programs there before and
after hours, is not an "educational institution" within
the meaning of Section 8-909. Pinkney v. Play Keepers, Inc., 419-BH-92.
The claimant was employed by the Community Action Council (CAC) as
a teacher for the Head Start Program. Head Start is primarily
a social service program for low-income families and children.
Section 8-101(l) defines an educational institution as
that in which: (1) participants, trainees, or students
are offered an organized course of study or training;
and (2) the courses of study or training are academic,
technical, trade-oriented or preparatory for gainful employment
in a recognized occupation. Neither the CAC nor the Head
Start Program is an educational institution within this
definition. An educational service agency is defined in
Section 8-909(e) as a governmental entity that is established
and operated exclusively to provide educational service
to one or more educational institutions. Neither the CAC
nor the Head Start Program meet this definition. The claimant
was not performing services for or on behalf of an educational
institution or educational service agency. Myers v.
Community Action Council, 1104-BR-90.
A. In General
Although reasonable assurance is something less than a guarantee,
it must be based on something more than merely being on
a list. Therefore, where a part-time adult education instructor
was given no indication, either verbally or in writing,
of her chances for rehire prior to the third week in August,
she had no reasonable assurance within the meaning of Section
8-909(b). Since the claimant's re-employment depends on
student enrollment and finances (neither of which were predictable
or controllable by the employer), the claimant's work history
alone would not support a finding of reasonable assurance.
Comninos v. Baltimore City Schools, 264-BH-83.
The performance of service in the successive academic term need not be
of the exact same nature as the service previously performed.
As long as the reasonable assurance is for service "in
an instructional, research or principal administrative
capacity," the requirement of Section 8-909(b) is fulfilled.
Englemeyer v. Anne Arundel County Public Schools, 946-BR-89.
The claimant taught school for about 14 years, apparently on a provisional
certificate. On May 27, 1988, she was notified that she
was terminated. On June 17, 1988, she was notified that
she could be rehired if she completed a list of tasks.
Rehiring was contingent upon an evaluation of her credentials
and an interview scheduled for July 5, 1988. The claimant
was subsequently employed as a teacher in the fall, 1988
school semester. However, the claimant did not have reasonable
assurance of returning to work prior to July 5, 1988,
the day of her interview. As of July 5, 1988, the claimant
had reasonable assurance. McCleary v. Baltimore School Teachers, 1043-BR-88.
The claimant was sent a letter at the end of the 1986-87 school year
stating that his contract could not be renewed because
his teaching certificate had expired. On July 6, 1987,
the claimant wrote a letter to the employer asking for
reconsideration of that decision. In a letter dated July
16, 1987, the employer responded to the claimant's letter
by stating that the claimant's request to be reinstated
had been approved. The claimant returned to his teaching
duties with the employer beginning in September, 1987
and extending into the 1987-88 school year. The claimant
was given reasonable assurance of returning to work for
the employer by the letter dated July 16, 1987. Wiggins
v. Baltimore School Teachers, 171-BH-89.
The claimant worked as a tutor during the 1990-91 school year. At the
end of the school year, the claimant's principal had no
idea whether or not the claimant's position would be there
in the fall of 1991. The claimant never received any information
regarding the status of her job until the beginning of
August, at which time she was told that her job was again
available to her for the upcoming academic year. There
is no evidence that the claimant had any assurance at
all of any work in the 1991-92 academic year or that she
had a contract for that school year. The claimant did
not have reasonable assurance pursuant to Section 8-909(b).
Wenner v. Frederick County Board of Education, 1284-BR-91.
Where the claimant was not only on a "reasonable assurance" list,
but also worked 170 out of the 180 school days in the
previous year, 80% for this employer, the claimant had
reasonable assurance. Twigg v. Mineral County Board of Education, 42-BR-93.
B. Abolishment of Position or Termination
Where the claimant received a letter from the school principal
at the end of the academic year informing him that his
employment would not resume in the following year, the
claimant had no reasonable assurance within the meaning
of Section 8-909(b). Beech v. Baltimore City,
The claimant substitute custodian had no reasonable assurance within
the meaning of Section 8-909(c) where he was "bumped"
by a senior permanent employee, with the possibility of
recall at some later unspecified date. Ritchie v.
Allegany County Board of Education, 205-BR-85.
At the beginning of the summer vacation, the claimant received a letter
which permanently terminated her employment. During the
summer, she received various invitations to apply for
other jobs. Although she was qualified for these jobs,
the invitations required her to undergo redundant extensive
coursework and testing in order to be eligible to apply
for the new positions. The claimant was later sent additional
letters reinstating her conditionally, but with inappropriate
conditions attached. She was later sent a letter offering
her a job for which she was not qualified. This offer
was withdrawn on August 31. On that date, she was finally,
unconditionally offered a job for which she was qualified.
No serious person could argue that this succession of
erroneous, incorrect and inappropriate letters constitutes
reasonable assurance of returning to work. The claimant
had no reasonable assurance until the day she actually
began teaching again. Cook v. Baltimore School Teachers, 385-BR-89.
C. Leave of Absence
Under Section 8-909(b), a claimant may not be paid benefits
based upon his teaching service where the claimant voluntarily
takes a leave of absence (to further his education) between
two nonsuccessive academic terms, and has reasonable assurance
of returning to work in the following academic year.
London v. Baltimore City Schools, 215-BR-82.
During the summer recess after the expiration of the claimant's leave
of absence, there was a contract or reasonable assurance
within the meaning of Section 8-909(b), that the claimant
would perform services as a teacher at the start of the
following academic year. While a leave of absence does
not promise that a claimant would be re-employed after
the leave, such a promise is to be fairly implied.
Muller v. Board of Education, 144-BH-83.
D. Substitute Teachers
The most important indications of whether a substitute
teacher has a reasonable expectation of performing services
are the history of the employment relationship and the
stated intentions of the parties. An employment history
showing a relatively stable utilization of the claimant's
services during one academic year will tend to show that
a claimant does have reasonable assurance; conversely,
a history showing scarcely any past employment will tend
to show that there is no reasonable assurance. Merely
placing a teacher's name on a list of eligible substitutes
does not establish reasonable assurance. Since the employer
presented no other evidence, reasonable assurance has
not been shown. No disqualification is imposed under Section
8-909(b) for the period between academic terms which began
in June, 1987 and ended in September, 1987. Gilliam
v. Board of Education of Baltimore County, 174-BR-88.
The claimant worked as a substitute teacher for the Howard County Public
Schools since 1985. In May, 1988, the claimant received
a letter from her employer giving her reasonable assurance
that she would return to her position as a substitute
teacher for the 1988-89 school year. The claimant returned
the postcard contained with this letter, indicating her
intent to continue as a substitute teacher for the 1988-89
school year. During the 1986-87 school year, the claimant
worked 95 days. During the 1987-88 school year, the claimant
worked 91 school days. The school year consists of 190
days. The most important indications of whether a substitute
teacher has a reasonable expectation of performing services
are the history of the employment relationship and the
stated intentions of the parties. The claimant's employment
history and the statements of the claimant and the employer
are sufficient to find that the claimant had reasonable
assurance of returning to her employment for the 1988-89
school year. Thompson v. Howard County Board of Education, 497-BR-89.
E. Twelve-Month Employees
The claimant was a 12-month employee working for the Baltimore
County school system as a job developer. On June 30, 1989,
she was told that her job was being terminated and her
future with the employer was unclear. Approximately two
weeks prior to her hearing with the hearing examiner,
she was offered and accepted a new 10-month position doing
vocational support work. The claimant's situation is not
the same case as unemployment during a period between
two successive terms or during an established or customary
vacation period. The claimant did not have reasonable
assurance of work within the meaning of Section 8-909(c).
Geary v. Board of Education of Baltimore County, 876-BR-89.
The claimants worked for the Allegany County Board of Education as substitute
custodians and cleaners. They would fill in for regular
custodians when they were sick or on vacation. Their last
day of work prior to the summer of 1990 was June 6, 1990.
They were, however, available and subject to be called
to work all summer long. The claimants had been called
in during past summers. The claimants signed letters of
intent to continue as substitute custodians for the 1990-91
school year. Without these letters, their names would
have been removed from the list. The claimants are not
disqualified under Section 8-909(c). The claimants' period
of unemployment had no relationship to the period between
two successive academic years. They are substitute custodians
who work sporadically, but on a year-round basis. They
were on call 12 months, including the summer. Although
they did not work during the summer of 1990, they worked
during other summers. Smith and Perdew v. Allegany
County Board of Education, 272-BH-91.
The claimant usually worked during the summer months. This was the
first summer in four years that she had no work for a
substantial period of time. The claimant was temporarily
laid off from May 10, 1991 to June 26, 1991 due to a lack
of work. The claimant had reasonable assurance of returning
to work on June 26, 1991. However, the period of time
she was unemployed was a period of a layoff and not during
a customary and established holiday recess or vacation
period as required by Section 8-909(d). Taweel v.
Columbia Union College, 1349-BR-91.