1. Is Mary an independent contractor or an employee? Describe the factors that led to her determination. She is both, before she was in the contract she was an independent contractor and when she signed the contract she became an employee, when she was asked to leave she became an independent contractor. The aspects that lead me to accept as true that she became an employee is the sentence that states “Mary was asked to considered to continue with the company” which advises the reader that she was an independent contractor and was hired on as an employee to complete the project.
Nowhere in the scenario does it state that Mary was offered an employment contract when she started her services with the company. This advises the reader that the position was accepted as an “at-will” position giving the company permission to dismiss Mary at any time for any reason. 2. Has the employer-employee relationship changed over the course of time? If so, how? Yes, the boss has gotten more at ease with Mary, but the association didn’t change by the way he asked her to leave.
At first Mary was a basic programmer. As time went on, management conferred Mary with more roles and access to many aspects involved in the project verses where she was as an independent contractor. Mary’s original situation was company/contractor and changed to employee/company when she was asked to continue with the company to complete the project. Finally, Mary’s services were no longer needed due to funding. This is a normal occurrence in today’s society as the majority of workers are “at-will. When employees accept “at-will” positions, he or she is required to sign a formal document stating the employee understands the ramification of “at will” employment and that if the employee is terminated, it will not be due to race, religion, gender or disability. 3. Is Mary’s release legal under the doctrine of employment-at-will? Explain why or why not? Breach of Implied Contract, after the contract was signed by the boss and employee then she shouldn’t be asked to leave until the contract expires. Employment at will states that any at will employee can be terminated at any time for any non-illegal reason with no notice.
With Mary not having an employment contract, no laws were broken as she accepted the position under the at-will premise. This law was written to protect companies from lawsuits when terminating employees for specific reasons. When a new contract brought the company more revenues to hire additional personnel, the company was not obligated to hire Mary back. She was terminated and that is where it ends. While the manager hired a family member, as long as is it not in violation of company policy, he or she did not violate any laws, unless Mary applied for the position and was not given the position.
This could be considered a form of discrimination. Just because the need for Mary’s services were reinstated does not mean that Mary is the person that should be hired. It just states that someone with Mary’s qualifications is needed not that the company needs to hire Mary back. Management made a decision and if the “family member” employee is hired as an at-will employee, he or she will also be at risk of being terminated at a moment’s notice. While it is not illegal, it is sometimes hard to swallow.