GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – From the classroom to the courtroom, Gaston County teachers are suing Gaston County Schools for not paying them on time and not giving them proper compensation.
The lawsuit claims Gaston County Schools implemented a new pay system despite getting thousands of errors during test runs and ignoring warnings from officials not to use the system.
Teachers were so afraid to speak out against Gaston County Schools that they did not want their faces shown when they came to Queen City News concerned about pay more than a year ago.
“When I got off the phone with the bank, and he said, ‘I don’t have anything,’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m sure I’ve got an email from the county explaining what’s going on. Nothing,” said a teacher during an interview with QCN in February 2022.
Now, those teachers are telling their stories in a lawsuit.
Two Gaston County teachers joined the North Carolina Association of Educators, suing the Gaston County Board of Education.
The suit claims there were more than 2,000 errors when the district did test runs before implementing a new payroll system in January 2022. Despite those errors and warnings from officials not to use the new pay system, Gaston County Schools used it anyway.
One teacher was paid an extra $17,000, according to the lawsuit, which claims that created a “tax nightmare” for her, “essentially an involuntary, forced loan.”
She had to pay back the $17,000 and the taxes on it.
Another teacher in the lawsuit was underpaid. Attorneys claim he endured a “marathon of ongoing failures” to pay him on time properly.
The lawsuit is seeking more than $25,000 in damages.
Gaston County Schools did not respond to QCN’s request for comment Thursday.