Can a school require its employees to donate to an annual fund?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a school require its employees to donate to an annual fund?

The headmaster at our school announced sternly at a faculty meeting yesterday that all faculty were expected to contribute to the voluntary annual fund. He also stated that the minimum donation would be 5.00. It’s not an anonymous donation as they expect a name with it. I feel threatened in that if you don’t contribute, your job is at risk. Is this remotely legal?

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, an employer's request for a charitable donation is not improper or illegal unless they use intimidation tactics such as threats, coercion or even discrimination to obtain the donation. Bottom line, asking for charitable donations is not illegal as long as nobody is forced to contribute.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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