1. Identify the distinctions among employees, agents, and independent contractors.
The work of independent contractors, such as doctors, lawyers, and plumbers, they work for
themselves and act independently, providing a specific service for the person they contract with,
whereas an employee is said to be in a master-servant relationship, acting under the direction of
Agency is a third type of business relationship, in which one person acts as a go-between in
relationships between others.
What is employment?
Employment involves one person doing work for another.
Degree of control exercised over an employee is greater than over an independent
contractor. A person who is told not only what to do but also how to do it is classed as an
employee. But if the person doing the work is free to decide how the job should be down,
the person is more like an independent contractor.
Whether the person is paid a wage or salary, or is paid by the job, is also taken into
consideration in determining if an employment relationship exists. Courts will also look at
who owns the tools used and who profits or runs the risk of loss from the work performed.
The organization test
Is person an essential part of employer’s organization? A person normally cannot be an
independent contractor and an employee at the same time, the same is not true of an agent.
Agents can be independent contractors or employees.
2. Explain the law of master and servant.
Obligations of employer:
Safe workplace: Subjective test
Obligations of employee:
Competent: the employee must possess the skills claimed and exercise them in a
reasonably competent and careful manner.
Honesty and Loyalty
Action in employer’s best interests Fiduciary obligations in some cases: senior level employees who have a fiduciary
duty, that duty may continue after the employment ends.
Employers often try to impose new, one-sided employment contracts on their employees after the
commencement of employment, such as restrictive covenants or terms limiting the period of notice to
be given upon termination. When imposed after the fact, these provisions are often not binding because
of a failure of consideration. If employer included restrictive covenants in the original contract, for
example, employees cannot work in a particular geographic area or in a particular industry after leaving
the position, employers have to specify a reasonable time and area. If they are too broad, the covenants
will not be enforced. And the purpose of protecting the employers’ interests cannot be against the
Where no just cause, reasonable notice of termination is required of both employer
Employer is required to give reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice-may dismiss
an employee with notice for any reason unless it violates human rights legislation.
Reasonable notice-legislation sets minimum standard
In setting reasonable notice, courts consider:
(1) Length of service
(2) Type of job
(3) Age of employee
(5) Availability of similar employment
(6) Bad-faith conduct
An employee discharged without adequate notice can sue for wrongful dismissal.
An employee can leave without notice when required to work in dangerous
conditions or when work involves immoral or illegal activities.
Just cause dismissal requires no notice
Dismissal without notice must be based on employee