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boarding school regulations? Maryland

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  • boarding school regulations? Maryland

    I am a new teacher at a private boarding school in Maryland. When I was hired, I understood that, in addition to my full-time teaching duties, I would be responsible for supervising one evening study hall per week (2 hours) and to cover for dorm parents one weekend per month. In return the school provides me with free housing. Before accepting the job, I specifically asked if there would be any further evening or weekend duties. The hiring official said there were no further required hours beyond normal school duties (supervising lunch, etc). I signed what looked like a standard teacher contract, which had the customary line that I would perform "other duties as assigned by the Head of School". In all the schools in which I have previously worked, that is normally interpreted as supervising lunch, bus duty, attending parent nights, mentoring students, sponsoring a club or activity once per week, and occasionally covering classes for ill colleagues.

    Upon my arrival at the beginning of the school year, I was informed that I was to be a dorm parent as well as a teacher. I now was expected to work in the dorm one night per week from 6pm to 1am. My one weekend duty per month expanded from merely running a few hours of an activity on Saturday to an extra 6pm to 1am Friday evening, 9am to noon Saturday, again 6pm to 1am Saturday night, then Sunday morning 9-noon.

    In addition, lunch every day has become a working period- all staff are required to supervise every lunch hour. Every day after school we are required to supervise a 2-hour sport practice.

    To sum up: I am required to work 8am-3:15 teaching (7:15 hours)
    3:30-5:30 sports practice (2 hours)
    One evening 6:00-1:00 in the dorm (7 hours)

    For a total of 53 hours per normal week

    PLUS weekend duties of 20 hours once per month

    Average work week: 53 + 5 = 58 hours

    My questions: Is the school justified in requiring this many hours? Are there any regulations governing hours for teachers/staff in boarding schools? Do I have any recourse to have hours reduced, especially since I did not agree to being a house parent at the time I signed my contract?

  • #2
    58 hours is not considered unreasonable. Many employees work as many or more hours than that on a regular basis.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      There is nothing in the law that would prevent you from working those hours. Without reading your contract, it is impossible to know whether or not these other duties fall under it or not. For that, you would need a lawyer. What you were responsible for at other schools is completely irrelevant.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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