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Superintendent to receive $82K in severance after resigning

| Nov 28, 2017 | Employment Contracts |

In Norton Shores, the Mona Shores Public School Board has agreed to pay Greg Helmer, the former superintendent, $82,975.40 in severance pay through June 30, 2018. The agreement was made after Helmer turned in his resignation effective as of Nov. 14. He will also retain his health insurance coverage until June 30, 2018.

Helmer’s contract for employment with the Mona Shores Public School Board was not set to expire until June 30, 2019. His decision to resign came after he was reprimanded and placed on paid administrative leave in early November for alleged retaliation against a fellow staff member. Helmer had been under investigation beginning earlier in the year for “bullying, harassment and intimidating behavior ” toward a staff member, who claimed he was trying to get rid of her.

The investigation found the complaint filed by the staff member against Helmer to be substantiated in July, and the board had agreed to place him on a “plan of assistance.” On Nov. 6, Helmer was placed on paid administrative leave because it was felt that he was making poor progress on the “plan of assistance.”

Helmer started working for the school board in 2015. It is not clear if he was asked to resign, or if the early separation from his employment was a mutual decision; however, his separation agreement did contain a clause stating that no “admission or confession of any liability or wrongdoing on the part of Helmer or the district” was being made, and that any such liability or wrongdoing was being denied.

When ending employment with a company, employment contracts are not just binding for employees, but also for employers. If you are in a situation where you must end your employment while under an employment contract, it would be wise to have an attorney help you with negotiations.

There are several issues that many people do not think about until it is too late. For example, before signing a separation agreement, you want to be sure your future reputation is protected from any liable or slander. The amount or length of time for severance pay may also be open for negotiation. The agreement should be carefully reviewed to ensure there are no restrictive noncompetition clauses, and so on.

Source: Muskegon News, “Mona Shores schools to pay former superintendent more than $86K,” Justine McGuire, Nov. 27, 2017

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