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    US 3 Easy Employment Law Questions

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    A. Read the following scenario:
    Little Lamb Company needs an additional programmer for a special project. The company enters into a contract with Mary to complete this project. Just as the project is nearing completion, a new need arises for her services. She is asked to continue with the company to complete the new project. While completing the new project, the supervisor begins working more closely with Mary and requires her to use company materials and equipment while adhering to company work schedules. After two years, economic conditions force the company to make budget cuts. Mary is asked to leave. Thirty days later, a major contract is acquired by the company, which reinstates the need for Mary's services as a programmer. However, the supervisor chooses to hire his equally-qualified cousin and not offer Mary the opportunity to return.
    b. Answer the following questions based on the scenario:

    1) Is Mary an independent contractor or an employee?

    2) How has the employer/employee relationship changed over the course of time? If so, how?

    3) Was Mary's release legal under the doctrine of employment-at-will? Why or why not? If not, which of the following exceptions to employment-at-will have been violated? Why?
    a) Breach of public policy
    b) Breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
    c) Breach of implied contract

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    https://brainmass.com/law/business-law/69630

    Solution Preview

    1) Is Mary an independent contractor or an employee?
    Mary was an employee till she was 'asked to leave'.
    A general rule is that you, the payer, have the right to control or direct only the result of the work done by an independent contractor, and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.
    Initially when Mary entered into a contract with Little Lamb for a project she was an independent contractor.
    However, when Mary was asked to continue for the new project and when the supervision started working closely with Mary she was an employee. Mary using the company materials for the work is also reason to designate her as an employee. Little Lamb had control over the means and methods used by Mary.
    Under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed. This happened when the supervisor started working with Mary.
    To determine whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor under the common law, the relationship of the worker and the business must be examined. All evidence of control and independence must be considered. In an employee-independent contractor determination, all information that provides evidence of the degree of control and degree of independence must be considered.
    Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories: behavioral control, financial control, and ...

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