New Jersey’s high court has given public school districts and their unions strong incentive to sharpen the pencil in defining when nonunion employees have recourse to grievance and arbitration under collective-bargaining agreements.

In companion rulings on Monday, the state Supreme Court said a worker hired under an individual contract has a right to pursue grievance arbitration for a midterm dismissal based on facts that would ordinarily call for discipline under the collective-bargaining agreement.

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