Former Penland School employee calls for boycott over working conditions

From the Clay Club blog, written by John Britt, a former Penland School of Crafts employee:

I worked at Penland for about 4 ½ years and during my time as the Studios Coordinator, I was asked to conduct an illegal overtime policy that had been in effect from 2000 – 2007. This was against workers who made $10 -$12.00 an hour and were barely able to pay their bills. I declined and became a Whistle Blower against Penland School who refused to stop the policy. After, quitting in protest and informing them of my discussions with the Wage and Labor board, they finally admitted that they conducted 7 years of an illegal overtime policy, ceased implementing it and agreed to pay back wages to employees. I agreed to allow them to handle it “in house” provide they complied and stopped the practice. This was my mistake because I trusted that Penland would live up to their word. They did not!

So I am coming to you to ask for help to get these artists the justice that they deserve. It is not about the money but the idea that arrogant not-for-profit arts organization like Penland can so egregiously abuse workers with no consequences simply because they will black list anyone who crosses them. If they are allowed to trample on the rights of the very people they are purporting to serve, artists and craftspeople, then workers there are never safe.


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0 thoughts on “Former Penland School employee calls for boycott over working conditions

  1. Amy Waller

    Just want to point to Penland’s public statement about these allegations. The response is titled, “Response to recent allegations about Penland’s labor practices” and it is on the Penland website: http://penland.org/about/response.html

    Also, John Britt has posted a detailed response to Penland’s allegation. It is titled, “Penland Response 2 -John Britt’s Response 2″ and it is on the Clay Club blog: http://ncclayclub.blogspot.com/2012/08/penland-response-2-john-britts-response.html

  2. Amy Waller

    Correction: the second paragraph in my first comment should say that John Britt has posted a detailed response to Penland’s statement, not Penland’s allegation.

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