Specific work assignments are only protected by contract if the professional capacity is that specific.
If your contract says that you are employed as a “certified classroom teacher,” you do not have a contractual right to a specific teaching assignment, but you do have a right to a teaching position for which you are certified.
Most contracts do not state specific work dates or hours, instead referring to and incorporating the local board-adopted calendar and district policy.
Most contracts also have language providing that the days and hours can be changed.
For example, an educator might be able to miss required after-hours meetings for ongoing medical treatment, such as dialysis.
There might also be questions as to whether a district can require duty on a non-duty day, such as Saturday.
In this situation, a district can usually not only lower the educator’s compensation to the amount provided under district policy, but also it can often force the educator to pay back the amount overpaid.However, even if a contract says that changes can be made, not all changes are allowable.There is no bright line as to when a change in working conditions is “too big” to make.To understand what assignments are covered under your contract, it is necessary to understand the different categories of assignments and how the law treats these categories differently: Primary duties (what the contract specifically states that you do, like “classroom teacher” or “administrator” or “teacher-coach”) are certainly covered by your contract.Additional duties are minor duties related to the primary duty that you are required to perform under the contract for no additional compensation.“At-will” employment simply means no employment contract governs the employment, particularly when and how the employment can be terminated.At-will employment is far more common in the general workforce, but many public school personnel are also employed at-will, such as most paraprofessionals and the classified, custodial and cafeteria staff.Although a contract creates the educator’s legal right to compensation, very few contracts state a specific salary in the contract itself.Most contracts reference the district’s local salary schedule and by doing so, incorporate that schedule into the contract, just as if the full schedule were actually written into the contract itself.These types of individual issues make a general answer on what duties can be required impossible, so an educator should seek legal advice.There are required steps to take in these cases, so it is important that any educator considering refusal of a duty seek advice immediately.