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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17048
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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If an employer places an employee on administrative leave,

Resolved Question:

If an employer places an employee on administrative leave, is the employer legal able to require the the employee remain in thier home during their regularly scheduled work hours? If so, and the employee is housed in company housing, does the employer have the further right to lock the employee in his or her home or similarly place security near the home to intimidate the employee?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I can't imagine under what circumstances any employer would try to restrict the free movement of an employee unless this is a government employer or overseas. But it appears that you are in Arizona. If that is the case, then your freedom to come and go as you please cannot be restricted. That would be considered false imprisonment. Again, without knowing the facts I just can't imagine what situation would give rise to this, but if you are an employee and not an inmate serving a sentence and in the U.S., it isn't lawful. You could contact law enforcement or seek out an attorney to file suit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
This is a school district. The district has held this policy in at least four specific situations in which I know the teachers personally. The district's reply to this question has always been that the district keeps this/these people on payroll and therefore has the right to insist that the employee is at home and available at all times during regularly scheduled school/professional hours.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello again,

The scenario that you have now shared is very different then the way you worded your initial question. Your employer, as long as you are employed, can require that you remain ready,willing and able to report to work at anytime they need you. That means being reachable too. If you have a mobile phone though, there is no reason that you couldn't be able to give that number to them to reach you as long as you stay within commute distance from the school.If you do not have a mobile phone, then that isn't the schools responsibility and if that means you must stay home during normal working hours to receive their calls, then you do.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
With Due Process and placing employees on administrative leave, is it legal for the employer to notify the employee that they have placed on administrive leave without stating a clear reason, and without a discussion of the problem or attempt to resolve the problem first, especially when no student, employee, or other person's physical or emotional safety is at risk?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
There is no statutory "due process" right connected to employment decisions. That is only for judicial purposes. So, no, at this point unless you have a contract that states otherwise, you don't have a right to know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Wow, thanks for the information.

 

If the employer's written policy in the employee handbook, and school board approved, regarding administrative leave is to investigate and resolve the situation within ten business days and the employer does not do so, does the employee have the right to take legal action against the employer? And does the district have a legal case if they do not follow their own written policy

 

In this school district, situations like this have been known to go on for months, leaving a teacher out of the classroom. I have personally known someone who waited at least four months to hear from the district.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
You would have the right to follow the policies set out in the district rules to resolve the situation. So, that might involve filing a complaint with your union or the district HR Department.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This district HR department refuses to give employees the complaint forms for any situation. Arizona does not acknowledge unions, and the teacher "union" has been functioning under another name, and has no useable power. They have tried repeatedly to help teachers who become involved in these types of situations and are not successful.

 

Each year, the school district will place at least one high school teacher on administrative leave of this nature, and at least one or two other elmentary or middle school teachers. Each time, the teacher is "acquitted" of the accusations, but the district does not renew these teachers contracts, without explanation. According to AZ laws, the district does is not required to give a reason for non-renewal to administrators or teachers who have been in district less than three years. Some of these teachers have been in district longer than three years and still become non renewed after such events.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
I don't know what to tell you other than the district must comply with their own policies or face legal consequences and you must exhaust any administrative remedies that you have within the system before you can file suit for breach of contract, loss of wages or wrongful termination, if it comes to that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, what has been known to happen in the past when an employee feels that the district is not following their own policies or the state policies is that someone usually ends up calling the state of Arizona to inquire as to the legality of the situation (whether is is administrative leave, educational policy, snow days, etc). The state will answer the employees questions, but then also call the superintendant's office to inquire as to the situation. I have seen this happen several times in this district. The state does not reveal the caller's name, but the district will call in several "suspects" and ask if they were responsible for the call. The person will then be fired, usually within the month.

 

I have moved on to a new school district in another state, but I have many friends who are still involved in this school district. We have educated ourselves as thoroughly as possible by reading state laws and district policies, and can pinpoint several instances where the school district, in our opinion, seems to be treating employees unethically. Although the "union" has attempted to help, it cannot really do anything. What is your suggestion to those teachers still working in this district?

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
What you described is unlawful and would be cause for a wrongful termination suit. That much is clear. As far as suggestions go, they should document when the school or district fails to follow their own written rules and policies, follow through on their administrative remedies and if they are unsuccessful within the district consult with an attorney about whatever the actual legal issue is and what their facts are to see if they have legal recourse such as wage violations, wrongful termination, unlawful discrimination or breach of contract.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17048
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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