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ESL Teachers Off Clock Class Action Lawsuit

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ESL Teachers sue for Unpaid overtime

This lawsuit alleges that  Zoni Language Centers required english as a second language teachers work off the clock preparing for classes and grading tests and homework assignments in violation of federal and state employment laws.  The complaint also alleges that the company failed to provide the most basic notice requirements and time keeping requirements under state law.

Each of the named plaintiffs are teachers at  Zoni Language Centers.  Each teach english as a second language.  Each assert that she had to work many hours each week off the clock preparing for classes or grading tests and homework assignments.  Each allege that she was not paid for this extra time.  Each allege that this work was critical to job performance.

This case may turn on the control asserted by  Zoni Language Centers over the work each plaintiff performed.  The complaint alleges as follows:

  • Plaintiffs are forced to follow strict teaching models; specifically, defendants require plaintiffs to follow defendants teaching methodologies by including speaking, listening, writing, and reading into every lesson plan;
  • Plaintiffs have to teach information from the books defendants require the students to purchase from the school;
  • Plaintiffs have to enforce the defendants’ own conduct rules such as no cell phones, no early departure from class and enforce the requirement that the books the students use have to be purchased from defendants;
  • Plaintiffs have to request time off a month in advance, and such requests may be approved or denied by a supervisor;
  • Defendants dock Plaintiffs pay for late arrival or early departures;
  • Plaintiffs have no power to remove students with behavior problems from their classes; they have to write reports of repeated offenses of rudeness, disruption, and rule breaking in order for a supervisor to decide whether a student will be removed from the class
Current Case Status: 

We will check back in mid September, 2015 to see if the defendants responded to the complaint.  This could be an important case.  

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