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Employer Employee Relationship Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

University of PhoenixMGT434: Employment LawJune 25, 2007IntroductionLittle Lamb Company enters into a contract with Mary on March 1st in which Mary is hired as a programmer for a special project. Mary seems to be working as an independent contractor; she works from home, makes her own schedule, and the company does not take any taxes out of her check. Two months later the company needed Mary's services for a new project and asked her to continue working but now the company is requiring Mary to work at the office everyday. For the first project Mary appeared to be an independent contractor however, it seems that for the second project her role has changed. Is Mary now an employee? If so, is she employed at will or does she have a contract? Can the Little Lamb Company legally terminate the employment relationship and replace her with someone else? This paper will address these questions, discuss additional facts needed and the necessity of having these facts to arrive at a legal conclusion.Employment Relationship between Mary and Little LambWhy or why not?Once Little Lamb Company required Mary's services again it was necessary to report to work every day, work closely with her supervisor, and she was required to use company materials and equipment. She was also required to adhere to the company work schedule. When this occurred Mary's relationship with Little Lamb Company was considered an at-will relationship. According to the readings, an at-will employee can quit at any time for any reason or no reason at all, but also the employer can discharge an employee at any time. On the other hand an employee who is not an at-will employee usually has a contract which specifies how and when an employment relationship can be terminated. The contract should have been either in writing, oral or implied-in-fact, which can only be terminated for economic reasons, such as layoffs, violation of any known work rules, neglect of duty, such as excessive absenteeism or poor performance or continued incapacity of performing the duties of his/her job (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007). Because Mary had no contract at the end of her employment with Little Lamb Company, the company was able to let her go and may not need to rehire her, when a new job opportunity came up.Legal release under the doctrine of employment-at-will? Why or why not?Under the doctrine of at will employment, once Mary was converted from a contractor to a full time employee an "at will employment agreement" was created. The text does not indicate whether Mary was given benefits or if she was added to the companies payroll, but based on the company taking control of her daily work schedule, by requiring her to report into an office every day and directing how she would perform her work she became an employee of the company.Therefore, when the company reached a point where Mary's services were no longer required, the company was within its legal rights to dismiss her. This may not be an ethical...

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