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Teacher forced to "get motivated' South Carolina

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  • Teacher forced to "get motivated' South Carolina

    To start the school year, our principal has required us to attend a highly controversial "get motivated" business seminar. It genearally has a Christian conservative theme, but is a scam that baits you in with high profile speakers like Colin Powell, Laura Bush, Bill Cosby, and Rudy Guliani, and then pressures attendants to purchase an "Investools" product. The company that puts this on is very shady. The principal has threatened to dock our pay for the day, even if we show up at the school and work all day as an alternative to attending this seminar. Can he legally do this?

  • #2
    The principal can't dock your pay if you work. He can write you up or fire you for failure to follow orders. If you have a CBA he would have to follow the procedures outlined for discipline.

    There is no law that states you don't have to go to a seminar that you find worthless but your principal likes. Many employees have to sit through seminars and workshops that they find no value in. Heck, most employees feel that way about meetings as well.

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    • #3
      I agree with HRinMA but if you chose not to attend, you're going to get on the wrong side of your principal. You certainly can refuse to purchase anything the seminar host is selling. Maybe you'll get a free lunch out of the deal.

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      • #4
        Yes, you can be required to attend. Pretty much all seminars are sales pitches as most presenters are authors. Sit through it and see if there isn't something you can take away from it. It might not be your cup of tea, but that doesn't make it totally useless.
        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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        • #5
          Go to the seminar - what can it hurt?
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            Thank you for all of your replies. Since I wrote the initial thread the night before the seminar, I was not able to see all of your responses prior to the day in question.

            I did not attend the seminar, and chose to work in my classroom all day instead. I have since met with my principal, who did indeed write me up and insists he can and will dock my pay for the day. He says that because I met with him prior to the seminar and he explicitly told me what the consequences would be if I did not show up (reprimand and 1 day's pay docked), that I have no recourse, even though I showed up at work, because that was not the day's planned event. I met with his boss, and he gave me the same response, even suggesting that I find the "biggest, most expensive lawyer I can find, and it won't make a difference". He says he docks teacher's pay all the time for infractions. I called the SC Dept of Labor, Liscensing, and Regulation, and spoke with a woman who insists I'm right, that they cannot dock my pay.

            Since I know it's coming, what recourse do I have, if any?

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            • #7
              File a wage claim with federal or state DOL.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                wage claim SC "DOL":

                http://www.llr.state.sc.us/Labor/wages/pdf/wcl-3.pdf

                Note: THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO COLLECT YOUR WAGES

                OR MAKE AN EMPLOYER PAY YOU.

                YOU MAY RECOVER UNPAID WAGES BY BRINGING LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOUR

                EMPLOYER BY FILING IN THE COURTS WITH REFERENCE TO SECTION 41-10-80(C) OF

                THE SOUTH CAROLINA PAYMENT OF WAGES LAW.

                CONTACT THE MAGISTRATE OFFICE IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH YOU WORKED.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is nothing you can do about the write up. If you were told to go to the seminar and disn't your supervisor was correct in writing you up. You don't get to decide what events you want to participate in.

                  If your pay is docked, you can file a wage claim. Keep in mind that your district is free to pursue other methods, including termination. Only you can decide if it is worth the risk.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Agree, they can't dock your pay when you work but you can be disciplined
                    in other ways for not going to the seminar up to & including termination.

                    The write up was definitely legal.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment

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