independent contractor status anthony thom ’ B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Develop a complete F-IRAC following the prompts provided. 100 points possible for each question
Q1: Employee v. Independent Contractor Status
Anthony Thom’s was hired by Jonathan Quick of Sun Vacations, Inc., to create a computer program for Sun Island to use in maintaining records of its cash receipts, inventory, sales, figures, and other data. No agreement was reached as to ownership rights in the program that Thom’s developed, called CRISOD. Thom’s did most of his programming at the Sun Vacations office. Although Quick gave Thom’s frequent instructions as to what he wanted from the program, Thom’s generally worked alone and enjoyed considerable autonomy in his work. He worked regular hours, but he was not always paid by the hour—occasionally, he submitted bills (invoices) to Sun Vacations for his work. Thom’s never received any employee benefits, such as health insurance, and Sun Vacations never withheld federal and state taxes from Thom’s paycheck; nor did it pay any Social Security taxes on Thom’s earnings. When Quick unilaterally cut Thom’s hours in violation of an alleged oral agreement, Thom’s left Sun Vacations and demanded compensation for Sun Vacations’ use of CRISOD. Quick refused to pay Thom’s for the program’s use and also stated that he would not pay Thom’s $14,560 in back wages unless Thom’s signed a form releasing all rights in CRISOD. Thom’s then sued Quick and Sun Vacations for copyright infringement, and the court had to decide who owned the copyright in the program.
Do not discuss copyright law beyond what is presented in the text. Central to the determination of this issue was whether Thom’s was an employee of Sun Vacations or an independent contractor. Using F-IRAC determine the rights to CRISOD based on Thomas status at Sun Vacations
Q 2: Agent/Principal Liability
Tom works as a traveling salesperson for his company Steel Products Inc. Tom has a specific geographic area in which to solicit orders and service companies during assigned time periods. He has been provided a company car for this purpose. When his company car is in the shop for maintenance Tom takes his personal car to use covering his sales calls. Having finished all of his calls in Steeltown before noon he leaves for Coaltown for his next appointment at 2 pm. Knowing that Coaltown is only 20 miles away he decides part way down the road to visit an old college friend who lives just 10 miles off the main road. Tom suddenly realizes that it is 1:45 pm and he will be late for his first appointment in Coaltown. In his rush to get back to the main road, Tom crashes his car into a tractor severely injuring JohnJohn the tractor driver who files a complaint against Steel Products for his injuries.
Use F-IRAC to analyze Steel Products liability to JohnJohn