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Case Study: Employment Law

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Read the following case: Zheng v Liberty Apparel Co., 355 F. 3d 61 (2d Cir. 2003).

From the limited, disputed facts presented, how would you decide the case?

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From the disputed facts presented in this case I would be very inclined to rule in favor of liberty apparel company just as the lower District Court did in the initial judgment of this case. I think that the four factors methodology that is utilized in making the decision as to whether or not a relationship of employment exists between individuals and/or organizations, is one of the best methods by which to make the determination as to whether or not an employer/employee ...

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Practice Case Study

Ship It is an express transportation company which was founded in the United States in the 1970s, but has operated globally since the early 1980s. Ship It has built its business around providing a reliable air freight service that can ship high value, low weight products (e.g. medicines, computer parts) around the globe quickly and at a reasonable price. Ship It is the premier carrier of high-priority goods in the marketplace and the standard setter for the industry with a global reputation for speed, reliability and quality customer service. Ship It has over 400,000 workers worldwide across its ten brands, over 100 aircraft and delivers more than 3 million express packages to over 100 countries daily. 

Clarry Jones worked as a package handler for Ship It Ground Package System, from February 2007 until January 2016. Ship It have a policy that requires immediate reporting of workplace injuries regardless of whether they require first aid or professional medical treatment. In addition, the company's policy requires employees to attempt to provide advance notice to management before seeking professional medical treatment for a workplace injury, unless the worker is so severely injured that this is not possible. Under Ship It's policy, if an employee fails to notify management before seeking medical care for a work-related injury the employee can be summarily dismissed. On January 6, 2016, Clarry stubbed his toe on a pile of boxes stacked on the floor waiting to be loaded into a vehicle and fell on his bottom and probably bruised his coccyx. Clarry felt like an idiot for falling over, so he got up and continued to move parcels hoping that no one had seen him fall. At the end of his shift, Clarry reported what had happened to his manager and said that he had a sore lower back. That report prompted a first aid/injury report, and Ship It placed Clarry on light duties with no heavy lifting to accommodate his condition. Clarry didn't seek or request medical treatment at the time.

Clarry worked light duty between January 7 and 12. When he woke up on the morning of 13 January, his back was really sore and he decided to go to his local doctor on his way in to work. Clarry went to the doctor without informing Ship It's management ahead of time. The doctor gave Clarry a medical certificate that cleared him to go back to work on January 13 but only on light duty, pending a full functional capacity evaluation. Clarry went straight to work from the doctors, but it wasn't until the morning of 14 January that he remembered to tell Ted, his manager, and hand over the medical certificate, thereby notifying Ship It that he had already sought and received medical care for the January 6 incident. Citing its policy that required advance notice before seeking medical treatment for a workplace injury, Ted, Clarry's manager at Ship It, summarily dismissed him.

Has Clarry been fairly dismissed, or not?

You may assume:
• Queensland legislation covers the sites for workplace health and safety and discrimination issues
• The Fair Work Act 2009 covers employment relations issues and conditions (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fwa2009114/)
• Ship It does not fit the definition of a small business.
Clarry has a base salary of around $45,000 per annum before overtime under the Road Transport and Distribution award, but with weekend work and overtime, averages about $65,000 per annum.

1500 words
Suggested case essay structure

Introduction - at least 3 sentences (50-100 words):
1. A sentence that sets out the problem or issues to establish the context of the essay.
2. A sentence that announces what you will be arguing (each essay question requires you to take a position and argue for something)
3. A sentence that spells out the structure of the essay, e.g the first section examines the relevant law or literature. The second section ...

Theory or law (300-400 words)
This is where you establish the literature that you will use to help you to answer the question.

Application of theory or law (900-1000 words)
This is where you apply the theory or the law to the facts of the case. When applying theory or law you should have at least three main points that support your argument. Each can be a paragraph or two. Where there are points that support your argument, there are also likely to be points that do not support your argument. A critically analytical essay will acknowledge the points that do not support your argument and try to find fault with them.

Conclusion - at least 3 sentences (50-100 words)
Should be in past tense and explain what the essay has argued - recap the main points and the argument.

In-text referencing should be (for example): Australian Air Express v Langford (2005). If you are quoting something from a case (such as a decision or judgement) this should be in quotation marks " " with the page or paragraph noted.

In the reference list it should be (for example): Australian Air Express v Langford (2005) 127 IR 240.
Many Australian employment relations/ industrial relations texts have a chapter or a section about regulation of employment (including termination). Because legislation changes rapidly please do not use legislation earlier than 2009, and make sure you are dealing with the Fair Work Act 2009

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