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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17187
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Off the clock insubordination????

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I was accused (not written up) for being "extremely insubordinate" by the principal of the school in which I work for the following incident (which occurred about 2 weeks before the accusation): I was attending a play in which my son was participating. I was there in the capacity of a parent. I volunteered, as did my husband, and my mother (who traveled 2 hours to be there) to help set up, and my mom and I worked the door. We got there an hour before the play started. Before the patrons were let in the doors, the principal approached my husband who was sitting in the front row all the way to the right of the stage, in what were not listed as reserved seats (the director of the play had told us to sit there) and said "you have to move, you can't sit there" in a nasty tone, and told him the seats were reserved. Another staff member was also there, and said that they had enough seats for "administration" and my husband was fine. When my mother entered, she also, was told rudely to move her seat, and then told to stay. When I came in from my duties at the door, and the place was packed, she told me we had to move. I tried to explain that the director had told us to sit there. She said "administrators have to sit there" but there were two administrators, and two seats. She came back and told us to move down two additional seats, and that "your kids can sit ON THE FLOOR"! I looked around the gym, there were no seats left. She came back and told us to stay. She sat front row, in the third seat from center, her son and her son's girlfriend sat in the center. The secretary sat in the fourth seat. There were two seats, a family of three, and two more seats. We kept our 6 year old on our laps. Two days ago, I was in her office for something unrelated, with my 6 year old, and she asked him to wait in the hall. She told me "this is my school, not yours, and you will do what I tell you. If I tell you to move, I don't care who told you to stay, you move. I am in charge, you are not. You were EXTREMELY INSUBORDINATE and I will not tolerate it. Are we clear on this?" I responded with a shocked "yes" and she dismissed me by saying "have a good day" I was not at work! I was there as a parent!!!! It was at night, I was not on the clock. Do I have a right to file a complaint, or sue?

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Yes, you do have grounds to file complaint against her with the Superintendent of the school system. She does not have a right to treat you that way. You are a teacher in the school that she runs and not her servant. You were there as a parent and not as teacher. Regardless, I do not see any insubordination. She is on a power trip here and she needs to put in her place. She needs to apologize to your husband and mother and your child. Nevertheless, you do not have a case for a lawsuit at this time because apart from making you and your family feel bad, you did not suffer any damages. Unfortunately, there is no compensation for rudeness.

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