Employees, Independent Contractors and Agents

The people working for an organization are one of the most valued assets that an organization possesses for the achievement of its goals. This makes people resourcing one of the most critical elements for an organization that hopes to remain ahead of its competitors. As a concept, people resourcing involve various approaches and methods applied by the employers to meet the human resource needs of their organization. Modern employment is heavily regulated by the laws which influence the employment terms and standards such as hours of work, minimum wages, working environment etc. The approaches and methods employed should be tailored to meet the stated goals of the organization and should be in accordance with the law.In recent years, employers are increasingly adopting a trend whereby instead of employing fully-fledged workers, they are engaging individual contractors or independent contractors. There are many reasons as to how many employers prefer this practice but the main reason that it's saving on the costs of employing (Pakroo, 2008). However, with this kind of engagement, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know who is an employee and who is an independent contractor of a given company.The following tests will help to tell apart a fully fledged employee from an individual subcontractor; 1) the level of autonomy and control i.e. employees are directly controlled by the employer while the independent contractor enjoys autonomy; 2) Who owns the tools: the employer provides means of production for the employees while an independent contractor provides his own; 3) Who bears the risk in case of a loss: While employees do not bear the risk of loss, independent contractors are typically liable for a failure in business; 4) Profit chances: As much as an individual contractor bares the risk of loss, they also share in the success of a business venture. The above tests are not comprehensive in and of themselves and each must be considered with a view of determining who the party is working for.The Employee-employer relationship

Where employee employer relationship exists, the common law imposes some rights and obligations to safeguard this relationship. The employer has a duty to treat their employees fairly and in good faith. All employees should be treated with respect and none should be discriminated upon. The P&D should apply rules and regulation to all so that they can create an environment where everyone feels there is fairness (Caruth, 2009). The employer should seek to maintain a good relationship with the employees and promote efficient operations and to make sure that he or she has a good solid business reason-in other words, good cause for every employment decision he makes. The employee also has an obligation under this law to work and perform his or her duties in a competent manner.Agency RelationshipWhere one person (an agent) conducts business on behalf of another party, this relationship-created by mere acts of the party or by law operations- become legally binding. The principle can expressly appoint the agent e.g. verbally or in writing, or the relationship can be established by an act, or though apparent authority given the position of the agent and his or her relationship with the principle.All employees and independent contractors are therefore agents of the employer (in the case of employee). The extent to which these parties can be said to be acting on behalf of the principal will depend on the circumstances and it is upon the court to decide in case. 2nd SHORT ESSAY: Capacity in contract law.

To have a valid contact, all parties involved must have contractual capacity. In contacting law, legal capacity means that a person is an adult and has mental competence. The law insists that all parties have the mental capability to know what the contract represents and to understand its terms. Most commonly, two categories of people are said to lack capacity to contract. Those who have been declared mentally incompetent are protected from people who attempt to take advantage of their mental condition. Because the law cannot distinguish people with unjust intents from those with good intensions, insane persons cannot be held to terms and conditions of a contact. Therefore, such contracts, although binding on the part of competent party are voidable, or can be rescinded, at the election of the incompetent party's guardian.The second category of people who lack the contractual capacity are the minors. These include those who have not attained maturity age, usually 18 years (21 years on some states). Although some minors (typically defined as persons less than 18 years of age) have the intelligence to comprehend even the most complex transactions, the law provides them with protection.Any time before a person reaches the age of majority and within a reasonable time thereafter, nearly all contracts the minor has entered into may be voided by the minor. Certain types of contacts involving minors purchase of necessities such as food, clothing, and medical care, essential for preservation and reasonable enjoyment of life cannot be voided. Because real estate is rarely considered a necessity, the minor lacks the capacity to sell it or to purchase it. Therefore, when one party to a contract involving transfer of a real property to a minor, that contract is voidable at the minor's option (or the gaurdian)As a general rule, a contractor is required to perform in accordance with the original contract agreement to the letter. However, sometimes changes are inevitable and it is for this reason the 'changes' clause allows one party to implement changes in the work when the project is being constructed. Generally, if changes and modifications are necessary, both parties-the contractor and the owner have to reach an agreement that will incorporate all negotiated changes (Cushman et al., 2001).In the above case, Gold Ltd failed to consult with Easy Study Community College about the unavailability of the specified thermostat. However, although owners prefer to negotiate the extra compensation the contractor is to receive before the changes are implemented, it is common for changes clauses to provide that the contractor may be required to proceed with the work without first reaching an agreement on the added compensation and time due.In the above scenario, there is no doubt that there is an increase in cost but the contention remains because there wasn't an express agreement between the parties. It will be upon the court to determine whether Gold Ltd had the 'implied or apparent authority' to act without consulting the owner.Consumer protection is asserted through consumer protection legislations which are designed to protect interest of consumers. This law provides protection beyond what warranties can offer. Although there is no law that requires a manufacturer of a product to offer warranty, the consumer protection act makes it an obligation of the retailer or the manufacturer to ensure that the item that they are selling is of reasonable quality and guarantee safety and durability. Warranties enhance this by giving a promise that the item will perform accordingly and if it fails, it offers to compensate. There are two types of warranties i.e. Implied-exist under state law and express-made voluntarily by the seller (Mayer, 1999)In the above case where Mr. White bought an LCD television, which after two days use injured him when it developed an electric shock and became inoperable, he can sue for bleach of his statutory rights. It is the obligation of the retailer or the manufacturer to ensure that the item that they are selling is of reasonable quality and guarantee safety and durability.For such an obvious fault with the item bought by Mr. White, his first port of call should be shop he bought the TV from or the manufacturer. Mr. White is entitled to be compensated for the injury caused by the item and such a claim should be made against the seller as well as the manufacturer of the item. Under the consumer protection act, Mr. White will be able to bring a case against the suppliers of the faulty item and get deserved compensation.

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