Lavender v. McDowell County Board of Education

In Lavender v. McDowell County Board of Education, 174 W. Va. 513, 327 S.E.2d 691 (1984), a school superintendent approached a board of education concerning the proposed involuntary transfer of an employee prior to notifying the employee of the transfer and of the rights which he had relating to the transfer. In the Lavender case, the Court stressed that it was intended that a county board of education conduct a detached and independent hearing on the reasons for a proposed involuntary transfer before rendering a decision upon it. The Court stated: ". . . due process requires that such a hearing be conducted only after due notice to the employee and in such a manner as to guarantee that the employee has an opportunity to present his position to the board. As we stated in Morgan v. Pizzino, 'if a decision has already been made, and the employees have been prejudged the process is meaningless.'" Lavender v. McDowell County Board of Education, id. at 516, 327 S.E.2d at 694. In the Lavender case, the Court went on to state that the law requires that a superintendent not submit an employee's name for proposed transfer, or for other action to the board of education, or discuss such action with the board, until after the superintendent has notified the employee directly and has afforded him an opportunity to request a hearing before the board. A logical extension of this is that a board of education should not rule upon the transfer until the employee has had the opportunity to be heard.