Can my employer which is a school district on the reservation, can they move me from a IT position to a teacher position?

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Can my employer which is a school district on the reservation, can they move me from a IT position to a teacher position?

I received a call today from my human resources manager of the district telling me that I’m moving from my IT position at the district, which I already signed a contract for 2018/2019 school year, to become a PE teacher. The PE Teacher position pay is significantly less then what I’m being paid for as a IT tech. Can they do this? Oh, I’m also in Arizona

Asked on June 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, IF the contract to which you refer is a contract for a definite term (e.g. a one-year contract) and specifies your position and/or pay, they cannot change your position or pay unless the terms of the contract itself permit them to do so--that is, they are bound to the contract for the duration of it, and can only do what the contract, by its plain terms, permits.
But you write that you are on a reservation. Reservations are semi-sovereign governments with their own laws in relation to many things. If the law of this reservation would permit them to ignore the contract's terms, they may do so. You need to consult with an attorney familiar with this reservation's laws to confirm your rights. If you have the same rights under reservation law as you would have elsewhere in the U.S., then you are guaranteed whatever the contract gives you, and could sue for "breach of contract" to enforce those rights (though you'd have to sue in tribal court).
If you are not protected by a contract, then they can change your pay and position at will. Pay, position, duties, title, benefits--even whether you are employed at all--is under employer control except to the extent the employee is protected by a contract.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, IF the contract to which you refer is a contract for a definite term (e.g. a one-year contract) and specifies your position and/or pay, they cannot change your position or pay unless the terms of the contract itself permit them to do so--that is, they are bound to the contract for the duration of it, and can only do what the contract, by its plain terms, permits.
But you write that you are on a reservation. Reservations are semi-sovereign governments with their own laws in relation to many things. If the law of this reservation would permit them to ignore the contract's terms, they may do so. You need to consult with an attorney familiar with this reservation's laws to confirm your rights. If you have the same rights under reservation law as you would have elsewhere in the U.S., then you are guaranteed whatever the contract gives you, and could sue for "breach of contract" to enforce those rights (though you'd have to sue in tribal court).
If you are not protected by a contract, then they can change your pay and position at will. Pay, position, duties, title, benefits--even whether you are employed at all--is under employer control except to the extent the employee is protected by a contract.


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