Are teachers in educational settings other than primary schools, secondary schools, or colleges entitled to receive minimum wage for out-of-classroom work and/or overtime pay when their classroom and out-of-classroom work exceed forty hours per week? New York’s highest federal court recently said “NO!”
The following facts are taken from Fernandez v. Zoni Language Ctrs., Inc. decided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on May 26, 2017.
The plaintiffs were English Language instructors at a private, for-profit institution offering English classes to adult students. The teachers argued that their employer, Zoni Centers, was required to pay them minimum wage for hours worked outside of the classroom, such as when preparing for class and grading work, and overtime hours when their classroom and out-of-classroom work exceeded forty hours per week. The District Court held that although employers are generally required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to pay employees minimum wage and overtime, teachers are considered bona fide professionals exempt from these FLSA requirements. Thus, Zoni Centers was not required to abide by the general FLSA requirements.