The Case of the Loose Keys and Compton vs Merlotte - Essay Example

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Compton vs Merlotte.
The Court cannot hear the complaint for unfair dismissal because Bill is bound by the arbitration clause as provided in the Revised Merlotte’s Employment Handbook…
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The Case of the Loose Keys and Compton vs Merlotte
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I. Compton vs Merlotte The Court cannot hear the complaint for unfair dismissal because Bill is bound by the arbitration clause as provided in the Revised Merlotte’s Employment Handbook. The provision that “all disputes arising out of employment with Merlotte would be settled by binding arbitration” is valid and binding on Bill when he signed the waiver that he “understood and accepted the revised terms” of his employment contract. Bill made an express and written assent to the arbitration clause in his revised employment contract. This case falls within the ambit of the court’s ruling in Howard vs Oakwood Homes Corporation where an employee was “compelled to arbitrate her claims of wrongful termination pursuant to the terms of the dispute resolution program.” In the aforementioned case, the court held that when an employee stays with the employer after she has been notified about the revisions and amendments to her employment contract, she is deemed to have made an implied consent and approval to those changes. As such, she is bound by the revised contract which contains the arbitration clause. (page 92) Pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, courts are mandated to favor arbitration as well as the other forms of alternative dispute resolution over the full blown court litigation. The wisdom of the law is clear: arbitration is definitely less expensive than a court lawsuit and is less stressful to the parties. Arbitration is aimed at having the two conflicting parties find their common ground and decide on a win-win solution for their issues. Finally, arbitration is favored because it “in no way limits the relief, including damages, that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is entitled to recover on the employee’s behalf in a court of law.” Page 91 The EEOC may still pursue a case in court although the employee concerned is under compulsory arbitration. However, arbitration as a means of settling employment disputes is less than perfect. For one, the aggrieved employee may always claim that the arbitration clause is invalid by invoking the principle of contract of adhesion. Contracts of adhesion are often rendered without force and effect on the argument that it is drafted by the party who has the upper hand and the other party has no other recourse but to agree to it. In an employer-employee relationship, the employer drafts the contract gives the employee only two options: sign the contract or pack up and leave. Page 92 Bill can also invoke the principle of contract of adhesion. But until it is decided by the court, his case for illegal dismissal will be under a binding arbitration process pursuant to his valid and binding revised employment contract. II. The Case of the Loose Keys After hearing the arguments from the plaintiff and the defendant, this court is bound by law to render judgment for the defense. The court agrees with the contention of the defendant that it is not liable for the tortuous acts committed by the employee because it happened while he was on a private errand and acting outside the scope of his employment. The records of the case reveal that the defense invoked the case of O’Shea v. Welch wherein the “district court held that the company (Osco), was not liable for its agent’s, (Welch), accident because no reasonable jury could conclude that Welch was acting within the scope of his employment.” This court agrees that indeed, the cited jurisprudence is parallel with this case of the loose keys. Plaintiff argued that, “The employee used the vehicle in a way that they believed was appropriate and in line with accepted business practices, based on the permission of the key shack attendant.” This line of reasoning will not stand to hold the employer liable for the employee’s tort because it is merely speculative. This court shall not render judgment based on what the employee “believed was appropriate”. The facts of the case reveal that the employee himself has knowledge that he is acting outside the scope of his employment. Moreover, the shack attendant also knows that by allowing the employee to use the car, she is violating company rules. When the attendant says that “she could get in trouble,” she admits that her actions are her own and are not within her scope of authority. In this view, the shack attendant cannot be deemed a valid agent of the employer. Finally, there is evidence that the employer has no knowledge about the employee’s actions. Records show that the employee made an extrajudicial admission before the police officer that “his boss was not aware he had the car.” Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff. The complaint for damages against the defendant employer is hereby dismissed. References: Please put your textbook’s reference details here. Thank you. Read More
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