Legal Question in Workers Comp in Pennsylvania

I am a long-term substitute teacher for a school, yet the only thing that really makes me a long-term sub is the fact that I am not an employee of the school, and I do not get a salary or benefits. I have been teaching since the second week of the school year, and not only do I create all of my curriculum, and attend professional development sessions at the school, but I am also creating a new class for the school that has never been taught before. I am certified to teach with a masters degree, and the school has no plans whatsoever to replace me with a "more qualified permanent employee," so technically I am substitute teaching for myself, because I am the permanent "teacher." As a sub, I do all of the same work that a regular teacher would do on a year contract, except I do not get paid over winter break, or get any sick days, or health insurance, etc. The school compensates me a little extra since I am "long-term," but the extra compensation is also only for the days I work, regardless of the fact that even when we have a snow day, or if I am sick, then I am still at home planning just like all the other teachers. I have asked the school why they won't hire me as a real teacher, and the reason they gave me was that they don't have the budget to give me a salary or benefits. I know this is a lie, because the teacher before me quit unexpectedly, so they had clearly set aside her salary in the budget. I feel they are taking advantage of the fact that I am desperate for a job. I am not the only person in my situation at this school, there are four of us. Two of us have masters degrees and professional licenses. Do I have any rights here? Or is this completely legal, and I'm just unlucky?

Asked on 12/15/13, 3:43 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Senker Senker Law Office

Your "problem" is not a work comp issue but a labor issue. You might want to contact a labor lawyer. But my hunch is that the school district can hire you in any manner they choose (unless it violates a union issue).

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Answered on 12/16/13, 7:28 am

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