Can my non-profit employer pressure me to donate money to them as ‘fund raising’?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my non-profit employer pressure me to donate money to them as ‘fund raising’?

I work for a church funded pre-school and am a salaried teacher. The school is
having a fundraiser and sent flyers to all the parents. They told the teachers
it is mandatory for the teachers to contribute. When I didn’t they put a note in
my mailbox saying ‘Since you didn’t place an order and the rest of the teachers
did we hope you’ll make a donation to our fundraiser. You can leave an envelope
on one of our desks.’ The funds raised go right back to my employer. My boss
has been very cold to me lately as a result. Is this legal? They make me feel
like if I don’t give to the charity then I am going to be retaliated against in
some way.

Asked on November 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They cannot force you to pay them money, even under the guise of fund raising, since to do so is to effectively recapture or take money from the wages or salary they have paid you, and that is illegal: you are entitled to the compensation you have earned for the work to date, and they can't force you to give some of it back to them, even if they call it charitable fund raising. If they terminate you over this, cut your pay, etc., you may have a wrongful termination claim. 

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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