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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111496
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I am a musician in a community orchestra in the midwest. All

Customer Question

I am a musician in a community orchestra in the midwest. All players in the orchestra are per service W2 employees. None are salaried, with the exception of the personnel manager.
There is a players committee, elected by members of the orchestra. The executive director has informed the newly elected chair of the committee that she is required to inform the music director, the executive director, the board chairman and the personnel manager of any and all meetings since they are "de officio" members.
This stipulation is not stated in the orchestra guidelines, nor was it ever voted upon by the orchestra. Rather, it is a simple statement on the part of the administration that players may not convene in any official capacity without the presence of the entire power structure of the administration.
Since there was an extremely inflammatory situation this past summer involving player rights ( the conductor elected not to renew the contract of a 20 year player on the grounds that the player was "insubordinate and disrespectful", even though the orchestra at large found this determination to be subjective and erroneous. The executive director and board rubberstamped the decision), there is a clear and present need for our players to be able to convene and discuss concerns without fear of reprisal.
My question: Is it legal for the orchestra administration to stipulate that it must be allowed to be present at meetings of the players committee?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Absent a written employment contract to the contrary, your employment is at will. This means the employer can make their rules and and can determine what they will and will not allow, unless there is a contractual clause to the contrary.

If you were a union, you could have a bit more say on this matter, but without an official union, the employer can dictate that they need to be present at all meetings and the employees are powerless to stop the employer other than contacting one of the musician unions and get union representation and force the employer to have a union contract, which would then stop the employer from doing what they are doing. But as long as there is no union contract preventing this, the employer can get away with this.

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