Does a signed contract supersede a business/company/school employment policy?

I am a teacher who has a signed contract with a school district which states that my work day is from the hours of 730 am to 415 pm. However, the school has a policy that states that the teacher work day is 730 am to 430 pm. Does my signed contract supersede the employer’s policy?

Asked on December 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A policy is informal: it's what someone wants or intends or usually does. A contract is a formal, legal obligation or committment: it is two (or more) parties agreeing in a legally enforceable way as to not just what "should" be done but what *must* be done. The contract supercedes the policy unless the contract specifically states that, for example, "hours will be set by school policy," in which event the parties agreed to look to policy for determining hours--that, however, is not the situation you describe. Rather, if there are hours set in a contract, those are the hours you are obligated to work.
Of course, sometimes it's not worth standing on your contractual rights: it may not worth alienating your employer over 15 minutes per day, and the effect on you later (e.g. on having a contract or employment renewed, when your current contract runs out; or on promotion, or being given desirable assigments, etc.) may be significant. So as practical matter, decide if this is a worthwhile fight for you; but in answer to your question, legally, the contract supercedes a policy unless the contract itself says to follow or adopt policy.


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