Los Angeles, CA asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Civil Rights and Education Law for California

Q: Can an employer hire you as a 1:1 instructional aide and assign you to do the work of a behavioral aide?

The pay is the same and both are classified positions in public schools. However, the job descriptions have a bit of overlap but are mostly different and the behavioral aide role requires specific training, skills, and direct communication with behavioral specialists among others. Is it legal to have a new 1:1 instructional aide unknowingly assume the role of a behavioral aide and fail to provide him or her with the proper training, support, and connections? What are the1:1 instructional aides rights and best course of action, assuming they need a job but feel chronic stress in this current situation? Restructure? Paid leave until training or reasonable assignment is found? Simple matter of clarification?

1 Lawyer Answer
Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I suggest that you talk to a manager in your Human Resources (HD) department and explain your situation. Since you are working for a public entity (although you have not indicated whether you are in permanent status yet), you should be able to consult with HR about your specific position and its job description, and the other position you feel you are forced fill. Make it known that this assignment is causing you undue stress due to the lack of training and experience you need to competently perform your work. You may be able to get some relief by resorting to this process. However, not all HR departments are the same and it depends on the quality of the people who fill those positions.

At this point, in my opinion, you have not described a situation in which the law will intervene. This is why I emphasize that you take a careful approach with your HR department. If your own supervisor is not sensitive to what the job is doing to you, you may want to educate her/him.

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