A Court Has Ruled That Alabama Teachers Cannot Sue Over Additional COVID Duties

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Teachers in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, say they were denied due process when their hours were extended without additional compensation during the COVID epidemic.

In 2020, the school system will move to virtual learning, which means that teachers’ workloads will grow, but they will still be able to address their job problems with the district. Two instructors who claimed that additional COVID responsibilities had harmed their capacity to provide for their families had their allegations of gender discrimination rejected by the court.

According to Judge Annemarie Axon, “Plaintiffs have not stated how they were harmed in ways that male instructors were not.”

In October, four female instructors filed a complaint against the school district.

“I am an educated, trained and experienced teacher, not a computer scientist or web designer,” one of the plaintiffs, Rebecca Kennedy, wrote in her complaint. “…While everyone, including teachers, must do their best during this pandemic, the burden of the pandemic should not and cannot be solely carried on the backs of already overworked and underpaid educators, especially when most of them are women, and most of them also have to be the primary caregivers of their children and other relatives.”

It is impossible to argue that assigning teachers’ duties for instructing students, providing teaching resources, requiring specific teaching methods, or determining appropriate compensation—the fundamental bases of plaintiffs’ claims—are somehow outside of a school superintendent’s official duties, according to the school district’s lawyers in a response.