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  • 60hr a week no OT - Texas

    My wife is an elementary school teacher with a workaholic principal. She works ~60 hours a week to keep up with the principle's demands, and is miserable. =/ No OT pay either.

    This post makes it appear that it is legal to force a teacher to work long hours for free.

    This doesn't seem right at all. Any advice? Thanks!!

  • #2
    You misread "that post". She is not working "for free". She is working for her salary. Teachers meet the criteria for exempt status and, as such, are not entitled to overtime pay no matter how many hours are worked. My father was a teacher and it is not a 40 hour a week job anywhere.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 10-19-2009, 03:44 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      There have been two sides to the 'teacher equation' for y e a r s...

      Those who think educators 'work' from 8am to 3pm,
      And those who KNOW they don't....as Patty, and her family did/do.

      Realizing you didn't know different at the time Patty, and certainly don't feel you missed out on anything... just think of the things you could have enjoyed, if 'teachers' were paid their true value. (?)
      Sorry to interrupt.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CAIW View Post
        Sorry to interrupt.
        Thanks, CAIW. He taught elementary school also. Actually, we did end up with a couple of chickens , nee Henrietta and Francine, from the egg-hatching science experiment.

        Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 10-19-2009, 05:57 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Original poster - teachers aren't the only employees who are exempt from OT pay & work over 40 hrs. a week for a salary. There are many occupations that are exempt from OT pay, even though employees work over 40 hrs. a wk., & are just paid their regular fixed weekly salary.
          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
            The fact of the matter is, for exempt employees the concept of a 40 hour week has no legal significance.
            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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            • #7
              Thanks all for the replies. I am not debating the law here, nor am I trying to get more pay.

              I am looking for advice on how to combat her principal's demands and to reduce her working hours.

              Maybe this is the wrong sub-forum now that I've re-worded my problem...?


              Soon they will be having her work another 5-10 hours a week for after school tutoring. =( Thanks for any help!!!
              Last edited by Tmonster; 10-19-2009, 06:11 PM.

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              • #8
                Not all problems have good answers. Based on what you have said, the employer is breaking no laws, and is doing pretty much the same thing as every other employer in the country is. Your recourse is to pretty much either talk to your Congresssional Representative about getting the laws changed, or advise the employee to change professions.

                Very respectfully, you are looking for a solution that does not exist. If you think that changing forums will change the answer, you might be right. Just find a forum where no one actually knows anything about labor law and you can probably find someone who will say whatever it is you want to hear. But at the end of the day, the original problems will remain the same because you have in fact been given the correct answer.

                The very specific law you need changed is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a 1930s law that is perhaps the major federal labor law. I will cite the exact part of the law that you need to get changed. You will also need to get regulation 29 CFR 541.303 recinded.

                Exemptions
                SEC. 13.92 (a) The provisions of sections 6 (except section 6(d) in the case of paragraph (1) of this subsection)93 and 7 shall not apply with respect to —
                (1) any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity (including any employee employed in the capacity of academic administrative personnel or teacher in elementary or secondary schools) ...
                Last edited by DAW; 10-19-2009, 03:07 PM.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tmonster View Post
                  Thanks all for the replies. I am not debating the law here, nor am I trying to get more pay.

                  I am looking for advice on how to combat her principal's demands and to reduce her working hours.

                  Maybe this is the wrong forum now that I've put re-worded my problem...?


                  Soon they will be having her work another 5-10 hours a week for after school tutoring. =( Thanks for any help!!!
                  She can try a heart-to heart talk with the principal explaining that the workload is causing real problems for her. This would be a meeting to spend some time in preparation in order to get her points on the table. If that doesn't work about the only other option I can think of is look for a job in another school, maybe even another district.
                  Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

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                  • #10
                    A possible problem is that the situation described is not uncommon in other school districts. A change in location would not necessarily (or probably) change the situation.
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                    • #11
                      Ok thanks for the bad news. =/ I don't think she will be working in the US as a teacher much longer.

                      Originally posted by DAW View Post
                      ...If you think that changing forums will change the answer, you might be right. Just find a forum where no one actually knows anything...
                      Oops I had meant "sub-forum". Sorry if you took my post the wrong way!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DAW View Post
                        A possible problem is that the situation described is not uncommon in other school districts. A change in location would not necessarily (or probably) change the situation.
                        I agree that it would not necessarily change the situation. I do have to disagree with the "or probably" part. I have a daughter who is a teacher here in California. She has found great differences in the approach taken by different principals and different districts. There are certainly no guarantees, but I do believe it worthwhile for a teacher to talk with other principals about the approach that they take, rather than just assume that it won't be any better anyplace else.
                        Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

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                        • #13
                          Fair enough, although I am also in CA and what I am hearing on the local news indicates that teachers working very long hours is the rule and not the exception.
                          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DAW View Post
                            The very specific law you need changed is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a 1930s law that is perhaps the major federal labor law. I will cite the exact part of the law that you need to get changed. You will also need to get regulation 29 CFR 541.303 recinded.
                            Actually that law was changed in 2004. Read Fact Sheet #17D: Exemption for Professional Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

                            The problem is is it first states:"To qualify for the creative professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

                            * The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
                            * The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor."

                            but later says "The salary and salary basis requirements do not apply to bona fide teachers." so it is very confusing in that regard.
                            Last edited by maximara; 10-25-2009, 03:18 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Teachers per the original 1930s FLSA law and related regulations can legally be paid as Exempt Hourly, or as Exempt Salaried, or as Exempt Fee Basis as long as minimum wage is followed. The 2004 "Fair Pay" amendments did not change that. The so-called "Fair Pay" changes increased the salary requirement (where applicable) from $155/week to $455/week. It also altered the "duties" test significantly. Past that, everything is pretty much what it was before the changes. My cite from the FLSA law is from the post-2004 version of the law.

                              Also, you mentioned "creative professionals". Teachers are actually part of the "Learned Professional Exemption", although I will admit that the layout of the fact sheet is confusing. Teachers are listed right under the "creative professionals" discussion, then doctors and lawyers are listed right under teachers. The exact rules for teachers from the fact sheet is as follows:

                              Teachers

                              Teachers are exempt if their primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing in the activity of imparting knowledge, and if they are employed and engaged in this activity as a teacher in an educational establishment. Exempt teachers include, but are not limited to, regular academic teachers; kindergarten or nursery school teachers; teachers of gifted or disabled children; teachers of skilled and semi-skilled trades and occupations; teachers engaged in automobile driving instruction; aircraft flight instructors; home economics teachers; and vocal or instrument music teachers. The salary and salary basis requirements do not apply to bona fide teachers. Having a primary duty of teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing in the activity of imparting knowledge includes, by its very nature, exercising discretion and judgment.
                              The following is the FLSA regulation related to teachers.

                              http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.303.htm
                              Last edited by DAW; 10-25-2009, 08:03 AM.
                              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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