Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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I'll need to ask you some preliminary questions before I can give you an answer to your question. Are you in a union or do you otherwise have a contract for "just cause" (as opposed to “at will" employment which is the default employment condition)?
The tenure law doesn't provide you any protection in this instance; nor does any other law. For example, the employer may use tardiness as a reason for discipline and discharge. Likewise, there are no laws (such as wage laws) that prohibit employers (schools or otherwise) from using time clocks to monitor start time, and employers are free to use them for purposes of management; including discipline and discharge.
Salaried employees can be made to work any number of hours per week and are not entitled to overtime regardless of hours. Teachers in most instances would be considered salaried/"exempt from overtime" employee because they are professionals under the law. Teachers are exempt if their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing. "Teachers" include, for example, regular academic teachers, kindergarten or nursery school teachers, teachers of gifted or disabled children, professors, adjunct instructors, teachers of skilled and semi-skilled trades and occupations, home economics teachers, vocal or instrument music teachers, and under certain circumstances, athletic coaches and assistant coaches. Although a preschool may engage in some educational activities, preschool employees whose primary duty is to care for the physical needs of the facility's children would not meet the requirements for the exemption as a bona fide teacher.
In your case, as such, the school's keeping of a time clock to monitor when teachers are coming in, is not in any way a wage violation; even if they don't allow you to punch out. Now if an "hourly", non-exempt person (a janitor for example) were to mandated to do the same thing and the school were audited they may be in hot water with the department of labor. But in the case of teachers it is not illegal.
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