Why CCS has volunteer coaches

Published 10:14 am Friday, May 28, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Questions of which coaches can be paid for their time have recently been addressed to the Chilton County Board of Education.

The federal wage and hour laws has been cited as the reason the board could not pay a supplement to some coaches.

“Only certified employees … can receive any supplement,” Superintendent Jason Griffin explained in a later phone interview.

Certified employees are teachers and school administrators. Other employees are considered classified.

Supplements are traditionally available for qualifying coaches and assistant principals.

“Classified staff cannot receive a supplement and that is an interpretation of the wage and hour law,” Griffin said.

This board decision and interpretation is based on financial advice from the Chief School Financial Officer and the school board’s attorney.

The wage and hour laws outline the requirements to pay minimum wage and when overtime pay is required. Teachers are exempt from the overtime pay requirement under the exemption for professional employees in the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to information from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division website. Coaches are not specifically listed as an exempt employee.

However, those interested in coaching for Chilton County Schools that are not certified employees can still coach as unpaid volunteers, if they meet the requirements.

“We have a lot of those,” Griffin said.

Volunteers must be approved by the board and pass an annual background check.