Any permanent employee whose services have been terminated as provided in Section 44955 shall have the following rights:
(a) For the period of 39 months from the date of the termination, any employee who in the meantime has not attained the age of 65 years shall have the preferred right to reappointment, in the order of original employment as determined by the board in accordance with Sections 44831 to 44855, inclusive, if the number of employees is increased or the discontinued service is reestablished, with no requirements that were not imposed upon other employees who continued in service; provided, that no probationary or other employee with less seniority shall be employed to render a service that the employee is certificated and competent to render. However, prior to reappointing any employee to teach a subject that he or she has not previously taught, and for which he or she does not have a teaching credential or that is not within the employee's major area of postsecondary study or the equivalent thereof, the governing board shall require the employee to pass a subject matter competency test in the appropriate subject.
(b) The right to reappointment described in subdivision (a) may be waived by the employee, without prejudice, for not more than one school year, unless the board extends this right, but the waiver shall not deprive the employee of his or her right to subsequent offers of reappointment.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a school district may deviate from reappointing a certificated employee in order of seniority for either of the following reasons:
(1) The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the employee has special training and experience necessary to teach that course or course of study, or to provide those services, that others with more seniority do not possess.
(2) For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws.
(d) As to any employee who is reappointed, the period of his or her absence shall be treated as a leave of absence and shall not be considered as a break in the continuity of his or her service, he or she shall retain the classification and order of employment he or she had when his or her services were terminated, and credit for prior service under any state or district retirement system shall not be affected by such termination, but the period of his or her absence shall not count as a part of the service required for retirement.
(e) During the period of his or her preferred right to reappointment, an employee shall, in the order of original employment, be offered prior opportunity for substitute service during the absence of any other employee who has been granted a leave of absence or who is temporarily absent from duty; provided, that his or her services may be terminated upon the return to duty of the other employee and that substitute service shall not affect the retention of his or her previous classification and rights. If, in any school year the employee serves as a substitute in any position requiring certification for 21 days or more within a period of 60 schooldays, the compensation the employee receives for substitute service in that 60-day period, including his or her first 20 days of substitute service, shall be not less than the amount the employee would receive if he or she were being reappointed.
(f) (1) During the period of the employee's preferred right to reappointment, the governing board of the district, if it is also the governing board of one or more other districts, may assign him or her to service, which he or she is certificated and competent to render, in another district or districts; provided, that the compensation he or she receives therefor may, in the discretion of the governing board, be the same as he or she would have received had he or she been serving in the district from which his or her services were terminated, that his or her service in the other district or districts shall be counted toward the period required for both state and local retirement as though rendered in the district from which his or her services were terminated, and that no permanent employee in the other district or districts shall be displaced by him or her.
(2) It is the intent of this subdivision that the employees of a school district, the governing board of which is also the governing board of one or more other school districts, shall not be at a disadvantage as compared with employees of a unified school district.
(g) At any time prior to the completion of one year after his or her return to service, he or she may continue or make up, with interest, his or her own contributions to any state or district retirement system, for the period of his or her absence, but it shall not be obligatory on state or district to match those contributions.
(h) Should he or she become disabled or reach retirement age at any time before his or her return to service, he or she shall receive, in any state or district retirement system of which he or she was a member, all benefits to which he or she would have been entitled had such event occurred at the time of his or her termination of service, plus any benefits he or she may have qualified for thereafter, as though still employed.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 38.)