Is my work schedule legal?

I am a teacher and am contracted to work 186 or 187 days per year. I am required to work 7.75 hours per day. While the majority of other teachers are scheduled for 2/15 minute blocks of time as well as a 30 minute lunch without responsibilities, I am scheduled for lunch and only 1/15 minute block. Is it legal for my employer to require me to spend more time with students than other teachers on staff? There is one other teacher experiencing this.

Asked on August 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

What does your contract state regarding this? If it is silent as to the issue, then your employer can require that you spend more time with your students or on any other matter as it sees fit. The fact is that not all workers need be treted the same or even fairly, unless their treatment is due to some form of legally actionable discrimination. In other words, it must not be because of their race, religion, nationality, gender, age (over 40), disability, etc.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends entirely on what your contract says. Without a contract, an employer can absolutely have one employee do more or spend more time on certain tasks/responsibilities than other staff; there is no inherent obligation to treat staff the same or fairly. If you have a contract, the employer cannot violate it; so if the contract guarantees you that extra 15 minute block without responsibilities, they have to give it to you. But if your contract does not address this point or guaranty you the time, they can have you spend more time with students.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.