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

Answers:

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.


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