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Reminder: Notice to Employees of Criminal Reporting Obligations
In 2005, the Michigan Legislature amended the Revised School Code by adding Section 1230d. Section 1230d mandates that applicants, employees, and those contracted to work “regularly and continuously” in a public or private school must report to the school district on a form provided by the Michigan Department of Education if charged with a crime listed in Revised School Code Sections 1535a and 1539b. Those individuals must further report to the superintendent or chief administrator of a school district any plea of no contest, finding of guilt, or guilty plea that occurs after being charged with a crime listed in Sections 1535a and 1539b. Failure to make the necessary reports constitutes a crime and may be grounds for termination.
Since the law’s inception, Thrun Law Firm has represented numerous school districts whose employees failed to provide the statutorily-mandated reports. It has been our experience that employees often assert a lack of knowledge of the requirements of Section 1230d as a defense to their failure to report. Although not mandated to do so by law, board members, tribunals, arbitrators, and courts often will ask whether the accused employee was provided notice of his or her reporting obligations under Section 1230d. Frequently, the school district is unable to prove that it provided notice.
Thrun Law Firm recommends that school officials provide notice to all employees and applicants of this reporting obligation and that they keep records of the notice. We further recommend that school districts include notice of Section 1230d’s requirements in employee handbooks or other documents provided to all employees. To assist school districts in preparing notice language, the original Michigan Department of Education draft notice letter has been attached to this news article below and can also be found by clicking this link.
|MI Dept of Ed Draft notice letter.pdf