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Suzie Reamy Joiner "I need advice. Today I left work 20

Customer Question
Suzie Reamy Joiner "I...

Suzie Reamy Joiner "I need advice. Today I left work 20 minutes early to deal with a sick husband/car situation. My children were in special areas, and a teaching assistant dismissed my class. I did not miss any instructional time, only walking the class out. I did not tell the office since it was a last minute decision and they are generally pretty casual about this sort of thing as long as you have coverage. My problem is I forgot I had after school duty. This duty occurs once every two weeks and lasts approximately 20 minutes. I just received an e-mail from my principal saying that since I missed side car duty today ( they called my room looking for me) that I was to report for after school duty every day this week, and in addition over the course of the rest of the school year about 8 other full weeks of car duty. I know I could have handled my early dismissal better, but this seems like a punishment, and one that does not fit the ‘crime’. Especially considering I have had early morning duty every day this week (25 minutes before school starts), daily lunch duty, and recess duty 3 times a week. Two days a week are taken for required meetings during the 40 minute planning time I have. Oh, and the fact that I stay at least an hour or two after school every day to plan and grade, and meet with parents. Do I have any recourse? Am I wrong? I’ve been teaching for 21 years and have never had anything like this happen before. Please let me know what you think."

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

I am in S.C. The car is 10 years old. My husband, also a teacher, became sick at work. Our son had taken his car to go to his after school job. If my husband was to get to the doctor, I had to take him.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, I just received the email today after I got home outlining his expectation that I commit to all of these extra duties and requesting I reply back so he knew I received the email.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I did not reply back

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I’m not sure if this is pertinent, but this principal has a history of targeting older teacher. The majority of our teachers are now in their mid twenties. Over 40 teachers have left in the past four years, in large part because they felt they were dealing with ageism.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am 48
Answered in 7 hours by:
3/14/2018
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,933
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified

Hello,

Thank you for your post. Are you in a union and if so, have you spoken to your union rep? Are you saying that this principal only targets teachers over 40 for disciplinary action? Is there anything in the principal's actions that violates a written contract or policy?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am in a teachers union, but S.C. is a ‘right to work’ state. This means the unions don’t have very much power here. I plan to contact my union rep at school today. I do not know for a fact if the principal only targets teachers over 40. I am not privy to that information. I do know that I have been targeted over the past few years and that several teachers who have left say it is because of the way they were treated due to their age. Contractually speaking, in my contract it states that I will comply with duties related to teaching.
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thank you for your reply. I, of course, understand that SC is a right to work state, but that doesn't exactly mean that unions have no power, it just means that there can't be any "union" shops where everyone is required to be in a union to work there. But, in any event, since you work under a bargaining agreement you will have to work through your union to grieve any alleged violation of the contract. That is your course of action in regards ***** ***** discipline or assignments that go outside the contract.

If there is proof that the only reason that you are being targeted is because you are over 40, then you might also have a age discrimination complaint. But to pursue that, you will first have to formally file a discrimination complaint with your school or school district HR/EO division and then they have the right to investigate and try to resolve the issue. If they don't, then you can file a complaint with the EEOC and, of course, speak to a local employment law attorney about your realistic options based on local judicial actions in this area.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for working with you today. Thank you

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Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 14th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me, even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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