Business and Employment Law

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End of Chapter Questions – Business and Employment Law Week One Page 32, question 5: Is the hospital correct? What additional information might you wish to know to answer this question? The classification of an employee and independent contractor is brought up in the case of Wojewski versus Rapid City Regional Hospital Inc. (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). The text defines an independent contractor as a person who contracts with a business to perform a specific task, but has complete control over how the process is completed. The business has little to no input over the procedures an independent contractor uses to complete their work. In most cases, the liability lies with the independent contractor, not the business if a claim is made (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). An independent contractor is also typically paid in a lump sum by the job and is responsible for paying all related taxes (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). Unlike an independent contractor, an employer has a lot more control over an employee. Employees typically receive a great deal more instruction on how to complete tasks related to their jobs, have specific work hours, completes work at the employer’s business location, use equipment provided by the employer, and is paid by the hour, week, or month (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). The employer is responsible for withholding and paying Social Security, IRS federal income, and state taxes as well as federal unemployment compensation (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). An employer will most likely offer benefits to employees such as paid time off, 401K retirement plans, and medical and dental insurance, all of which are not offered to independent contractors (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). The text references several tests that are used to define an employee and independent contractor which include the common-law agency test, IRS 20-factor analysis, and the economic realities test (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). The initial conclusion based on the information provided in the text is that the hospital is not correct in claiming that Wojewski is an independent contractor. The information provided points to several factors that indicate Wojewski is an employee of the hospital. Once of the main factors in concluding that he is an employee is the amount of control the hospital had over his work. The hospital required that his work be supervised by another doctor. Wojewski was also required to attend mandatory therapy sessions, submit to competency tests, take only prescribed medication, agree to random drug testing, and take required vacations (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). If Wojewski was indeed an independent contractor, the hospital would not be able to impose these types of restrictions on his work. This conclusion is also supported by several factors listed on the IRS 20-factor analysis including instructions, work performed on employer’s premises, furnishing of tools and materials, oral or written reports, and right to discharge (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2012). Wojewski should be able to move forward with his claim of disability discrimination, as long as bipolar disorder is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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