Louisiana’s supreme court now is set to decide a case involving more than 7,000 employees fired by the New Orleans school system after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
Lower courts have ruled that the employees, including teachers, teacher aides, and others, were denied due process and are owed back pay and benefits.
Exactly how much money is at stake is unclear, although one estimate put the cost at $1.5 billion.
In January, a state appeals court upheld a ruling in favor of the employees, but reduced potential damages, saying employees who meet certain requirements were entitled to two years of back pay instead of five.
The state and the New Orleans school board are defendants in the case.
After hearing arguments last month, the justices gave no indication when they would rule.
A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as Louisiana High Court Hears New Orleans Teacher Case