Why might Ingle have preferred to go to court rather than use the employer’s arbitration mechanism? Refer to your textbook, Ingle v Circuit City Stores p. 21, #3. The arbitration agreement which was provided under the employment contract signed by Catherine Ingle was favorable to Ingle’s employer, Circuit City Stores. When Catherine Ingle was engaged as an Associate at Circuit City Stores, she was compelled to sign the arbitration agreement otherwise she would not be employed by the store.
This compulsion to sign the agreement gave Catherine Ingle a solid ground to file her complaint in the court of law rather than subject herself to the arbitration mechanism. The provisions of the arbitration agreement were not binding to Catherine Ingle inasmuch as her consent and agreement to any part thereof was not free and voluntary as she was compelled to sign the agreement. The arbitration agreement that was signed by Catherine Ingle, according to the decision of the court, was to be interpreted just like any other contract.
The arbitration agreement, in the context of a contract, requires a meeting of the minds between parties who agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the contract. The binding effect of the arbitration agreement would act as a waiver of the right of any party to file a complaint directly to any court of law without using the arbitration mechanism. The important factor, therefore, is the party’s free and voluntary consent to be bound to an arbitration agreement.
In the case of Catherine Ingle, she was compelled to enter into an arbitration agreement. This compulsion translates to unconscionability. The court, in the case of A&M Produce Co. v. FMC Corp. , 135 Cal defined unconscionability as “an absence of meaningful choice on the part of one of the parties together with contract terms which are unreasonably favorable to the other party. ” (Cited in Catherine Ingle, 2003). 2.
When using independent contractors, firms must be prepared to relinquish most of their control over how work is done. Why is this good advice? Include an example in your answer. An independent contracting arrangement presupposes the waiver of the right to control all processes of the contracted work covered under the independent contracting agreement. The purpose of this waiver of control is to delineate the accountabilities and liabilities of the firm and the independent contractor.
The accountability of the firm is to the independent contractor while the latter’s accountability is to the firm and to the employees who are engaged by the independent contractor. The firm’s liability to the independent contractor’s employees is limited to the extent of the firm’s accountability to the independent contractor. An example is when these employees are deprived of their right to be compensated; these employees may have recourse to the firm but only to the extent of the unpaid obligation of the firm to the contractor.
Where it is shown that the firm has no such obligation, the employees cannot compel the firm to pay these unpaid salaries as the firm is not a guarantor of the independent contractor. Therefore, it is very important that the firm does not exercise control to show independence under the contracting agreement. The firm only looks at the acceptable results of the work according to the standards set before the engagement of the independent contractor.
But where the firm exercises any control of whatever nature and degree, then the independence of the contractor would be questionable. If this latter is true, then the firm cannot hold itself at an arm’s length from any complaint that the employee of the independent contractor may raise. Thereby, the firm may be held liable. To avoid this situation, it is very logical and sound that the firm requires the independent contractor to lay down the manner by which the latter will accomplish the results based on the required standards.