Legal Environment, BUAD 5315
Instructor: Dr. April Dyer
ELLIS v. BlueSKY CHARTER SCHOOL
Thomas Ellis, Relator,
BlueSky Charter School, Respondent.
Court of Appeals of Minnesota.
Filed April 20, 2010
Facts: In November 2008, the parties signed an employment agreement providing that Relator was to serve as the director of the school for the 2008-09 school year. The title of the agreement states the dates July 01/2008-June 30/2009. "The first sentence of the agreement lists the administrative positions to which the agreement applies and states, "This is a general at will agreement."(Ellis vs. BlueSky, 2010). Yet the agreement provides that "[p]ositions will automatically renew for one year after one year of service unless specific actions are taken by the board before April 15th of each year" (Ellis vs. BlueSky, 2010). It defines the work year as 220 days from July 1 to June 30, and provides for proration in terms of a new hire within the financial year. The board met on May 7, 2009 in a closed session to "discuss allegations" against Relator, but respondent's counsel advised the board that it could simply reconvene the open meeting "and do what [it] wish[es] to do under the at-will contract"(Ellis vs. BlueSky, 2010). When the open meeting reconvened, counsel asked Relator if he wanted to make a statement. According to the minutes, "[Relator] stated that he knew his employment contract was at will, that no cause for termination need be stated, and that he wanted to act in the best interests of the school."(Ellis vs. BlueSky, 2010). The members voted for Relator's immediate termination, after a failed motion by one member to place Relator on a paid leave. After the meeting, Relator wrote to the board secretary denying that...