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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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My wife is a substitute teacher with a credential. She received

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My wife is a substitute teacher with a credential. She received at the urging of District Principals that all but ensured her of a job. Unfortunately, the district had a hiring freeze. Still she stuck with it for almost five years, performing long term assignments and even acting as the teacher of record.

Indeed, she performed ALL the duties of a contracted teacher. She went in early, stayed late, missed lunches and worked from home. She did all this while earning an eight hour, hourly wage that is only slightly better than a unskilled laborer.

Meanwhile she sought deferments on a sizable school loan that she hoped to payback with a higher paying job she never got.

Recently, enrollment numbers went up and the district needed teachers. So they hired fifteen. My 49 year old wife was not one of them. Instead, the job went to younger teachers who didn't perform long term assignments who were only "slightly" better.

Obviously she's crushed and me? Well I'm more than a little pissed.

That woman has bled for the district. She has worked at a level that is required of her contracted peers and she did it for nearly five years. She did it, because she was always being complimented and told by peers and principals that she was an obvious choice for new positions that would open up in the future.

My question is this... Might she have a legal case to make against this district? In other words, might is be worth consulting with an attorney... or is this just a case of "it sucks to be you"?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your and your wife's situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Your wife definitely has a good case against the district for age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

From what you mentioned, it appears that your wife's age was a factor in their decision, since she had performed a long term assignment as a substitute teacher and was more experienced than the younger teachers who were hired instead of her.

She should definitely file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing Commission for age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which she can do here:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate her complaint on her behalf and either file suit on her behalf or issue her a right to sue letter so she can pursue her case through a private attorney.

I hope the above information is helpful.

If you have any follow up or clarifying questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks and best of luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. That is something she may pursue.

One last question.

As you are aware, teachers easily work in excess of an eight hour day and in her long term assignments, that's exactly what she has done.

During those five years, she was NEVER paid more than 110 dollars a day.

Might she also have a claim to back overtime pay? I mean its my understanding that among other things, in order to be professionally exempt from overtime, you have to be making at least $16.00 per hour.

Hello Henry,

Yes, exempt employees must receive at least twice the minimum wage to be considered exempt.

So your wife could also file a wge claim against her former employer.

She can file a wage claim using the information available online here:

However, she can only go back three years from the time she files the wage claim to claim unpaid overtime.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Henry,

Thank you for your positive rating of my service,. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should you have future legal questions.

Please request me directly by placing “to Joseph” at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in California Employment Law.

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and best of luck,