Teacher Sues School District For Unpaid Hours And Cost Of School Supplies

It’s no real secret that teachers in the United
States today are devastatingly underpaid for what they do. And according to a recently filed class action
lawsuit, some teachers in this country might actually be doing even more work and not getting
paid at all for it on top of having to buy supplies and other goodies for their classrooms. Joining me now to talk about this is Scott
Hardy with Top Class Actions. Scott, lay this one out for me because I know
right now we’ve got this one plaintiff, but her story, I guarantee you, you could go to
almost any school in this country and you’re going to find at least one other teacher that
has done this exact same thing. So what’s happening here? Exactly. This class action is trying to get teachers
compensated for all the time and effort they put in. All of the money they spend on supplies, all
of these things that they shouldn’t be required to do. But in this case, we have a teacher in South
Carolina and her principal made her do things like, oh, by the way, you have to go ahead
and donate a gift basket from your class for the PTO and if you don’t, I’m going to put
a little mark on your chart. That’s bad. Oh, and also you need to go ahead and sell
food and drinks and beverages at, you know, it could be football games and other things. No, we’re not going to pay you for it. Yes, the school’s going to benefit off of
that. But hey, that’s your job and duty as an employee
here. But come on, you know, any other employer
knows that if you’re making somebody come in and you’re making somebody work, you have
to pay them. If you are making somebody buy supplies they
need to do their job, they have to be able to expense that. They can’t pay for this on their own. Teachers are grossly underpaid in this country
and we have to take care of them. And so I’m hoping that we’re going to see
these types of class actions get filed across the country against schools that are not taking
care of their teachers. You know, these teachers are working their
butts off for us, for the parents and the kids that are going there, why can’t we not
only make sure they’re fairly compensated but make sure they’re at least taken care
of for the supplies they buy. And if they are working a school function,
make sure they get paid for it. You know, you can’t have mandatory volunteering. That is not the definition of volunteering. If it’s mandatory, you are not volunteering,
you are working. And, you know the federal law as they actually
say in this lawsuit. If you’re being forced essentially to volunteer
for something for your employer, that doesn’t fit the legal definition at all of a volunteer. Your employer, your boss is making you do
something because you’re their employee. That is essentially a mandated from the employer
to the employee and therefore, according to federal law, you should be paid for this. I mean, it’s pretty straight forward on that. If you have to go do something because your
boss says you have to go do something, that boss has to pay you for those hours, for that
time, for whatever it is. And, you know, this, this is a pretty straightforward
case. I mean, obviously court systems are different. Juries may be different, but on the surface,
this thing looks like pretty much a slam dunk. I mean, this teacher’s case is absolutely,
you know, I, I don’t want to say unloseable, but I would be shocked if this teacher does
not prevail in this particular case. Right, exactly. You know, I’ve got a friend of mine who’s
a teacher and she was just saying, you know, it’s really sad that she’s getting in trouble
if she doesn’t have the right supplies, but oh no, the school is not going to pay for
them. Come on. This is, this is just how to do the right
thing 101. Take care of these folks. If you’re going to make it a requirement,
you have to pay him for it. If you’re going to make somebody show up to
an event, you have to pay them for it. If you’re going to ask for volunteers, then
it has to be real volunteers. You can’t just put it on a, you can’t put
on a schedule and say, by the way you’re volunteering from five to one, you’re welcome. Doesn’t work. You’re going to get nailed for it. And hopefully these teachers will get paid. And I think another thing people need to understand
too is that according to statistics, the average teacher in the United States spends upwards
of $100 every single month during the school year out of their own pocket on supplies for
their classroom. A huge percentage of them have to work second
jobs. And of course thanks to the tax cut package
of 2017 teachers can no longer write off, I think it’s more than $200 that they spend
in school supplies, even though they’re spending close to $900 per year. Prior to that tax cut package, they were allowed
to write off all of it. It’s now been reduced to $200. So, no matter where you go, no matter where
you look, teachers in this country pretty much getting screwed all around. And so hopefully this particular lawsuit,
especially if it spreads, this could be something that absolutely changes the game, couldn’t
it? Yeah, it really could. If we can get these class actions filed across
the country in every state, in every school district where it’s happening, it’s going
to be painful for the schools and is going to be painful for the, for the states a bit. But, you know, what’s painful for our teachers
out there is that they’re living paycheck to paycheck and they’re being required to
spend all of this money on school supplies. As you said, they can’t write it off anymore. They’re required to spend extra time at school
and not getting paid for it. You know, we to fix the system to make it
fair for these, for these teachers that are working so hard to help our children. That’s, you know, we gotta make it right. Absolutely, and for more information on this
issue, follow the link in the description of this video and head the Top Class Actions. And for any teachers out there who may be
in this same boat, I encourage you, reach out to Scott Hardy and the team at Top Class
Actions. Tell them your story, let’s get this going
nationwide. Scott Hardy, Top Class Actions. Thank you very much for talking with us today. You’re welcome. Thanks for your time, Farron.

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