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Aillet v. Lafayette Parish Sch. Bd.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 10, 2014

JAN AILLET AND MARILYN DOUCET
v.
LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

Page 769

APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 20125668. HONORABLE DURWOOD WAYNE CONQUE, DISTRICT JUDGE.

AFFIRMED.

Jon Keith Guice, Linda Kay Ewbank, Hammonds, Sills, Adkins, & Guice, L.L.P., Monroe, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Lafayette Parish School Board.

Andrew J. Halverson, Milling Benson Woodward, L.L.P., Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/ APPELLEES: Jan Aillet, Marilyn Doucet.

Court composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, and John E. Conery, Judges.

OPINION

Page 770

[14-585 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] GREMILLION, Judge.

In this teachers' salary and back-pay dispute, the Lafayette Parish School Board (LPSB) appeals the grant of the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the plaintiffs/appellees, Jan Aillet and Marilyn Doucet. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

FACTS

The facts of this matter are not disputed. The school board chartered Charter High School (Charter). Charter was a school that held session from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. and catered to extremely at-risk students, many with children, some homeless. In 2006, Mrs. Aillet began working at Charter half-time as a librarian, except during summers, when she worked at Charter full-time. She continued to work there half-time until 2010, when she began working there full-time following the closure of the other school at which she worked half-time. Her compensation at Charter was based upon a 244-day school year for which she was paid $328.29 per day.

Mrs. Doucet moved to the Lafayette Parish School System in 2005 after many years teaching English in the Avoyelles Parish Schools. She began at Charter upon moving to the Lafayette System. Her compensation was based upon a 244-day school year as well, earning $298.08 per day.

Charter, though, was closed by the school board in 2012. The faculty and staff were informed of this change in meetings with school board personnel. Mrs. Aillet was reassigned from Charter to Lafayette High School (LHS). Her compensation there was based upon a 182-day school year at $330.85 per day. Mrs. Doucet, who was reassigned to N.P. Moss Preparatory, began being [14-585 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] compensated on the same basis at $308.30 per day. Both filed suit against the school board and asked for back pay and reinstatement of their 2011 salaries.

Both sides of the dispute filed motions for summary judgment. Both motions relied upon the same three exhibits: the depositions of Mrs. Aillet and Mrs. Doucet and the affidavit of Mr. Bruce Leininger, the LPSB Director of Human Resources. The trial court heard argument in this matter and ruled in favor of Mrs. Aillet and Mrs. Doucet. LPSB was ordered to reinstate their 2011-2012 salaries and pay back-pay retroactive to the beginning of the 2012-3013 school year.

LPSB assigns the following as errors:

A. The district court erred by finding that Appellant's actions were a violation of Louisiana Tenure Law (and Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:418) thereby entitling [Appellees] to pay for months not worked.
B. The district court erred by rendering a judgment, the effect of which violates the Article 7, Section 14 of the Louisiana Constitution's ...

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