Can a Principal of an elementary school ban a teacher’s spouse from coming to the school after a discussion over a sick note policy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a Principal of an elementary school ban a teacher’s spouse from coming to the school after a discussion over a sick note policy?

Principal seems to be singling out a certain teacher for multiple things over the
last 12 years. Latest the need for a sick note and the spouse took the sick note
to school and questioned the policy and had a discussion regarding why none of
the other teachers have to follow this policy. No threats, cussing, yelling
involved. Spouse remained calm, but opinionated. Spouse received certified
letter 3 weeks later stating she is no longer allowed on school property which
she rarely is. This seems to be a power play and more harassment stating her
dislike. Seems over the top? Any thoughts or tips?

Asked on April 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It  may seem over the top, but it is legal: an employer--including a school--may exclude any non-employees, including spouses, from the employer's property, and can also refuse to talk to a non-employee spouse about issue involving the employee spouse. There is nothing legally improperty in what you describe. The spouse should stay out of things: it was unprofessional for a non-employee spouse to question an employment policy on behalf of an employee. If the employee spouse has a question about or issue with a policy, the employee should discuss it with management and not bring the spouse into it. For example, my wife is the HR director for a company and she would *never* discuss employee issues or employment policy with a non-employee, even a spouse.

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.

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