A state appeals court has affirmed a lower-court ruling that thousands of New Orleans teachers and school employees fired after Hurricane Katrina were denied the constitutional right of due process.
It was not a total victory for the employees. The panel of judges for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals adjusted the lower-court’s damage award, saying employees who meet certain requirements will be entitled to two years of back pay and benefits, instead of five.
A state judge had awarded more than $1 million to seven lead plaintiffs in the case. And, in testimony before the appeals court, a school board lawyer had said upholding the initial ruling would put as many as 7,500 school workers in line to receive nearly $1.5 billion in damage payments.
A version of this article appeared in the January 22, 2014 edition of Education Week as Katrina School Employees Fired Improperly, Court Rules