1) Is Mary an independent contractor or an employee? Describe the factors that led to your determination.
My observation of Mary's role as an independent contractor or employee in the case of the Little Lamb Company initially indicates independent contractor, though the difference between the two roles become unclear when the role of additional programmer suggests the performance of the work would be the same of a programmer already employed with the company. When the initial project neared completion and Mary agreed to provide her programming services for another project, she initially continued to perform more of the role of independent contractor with the end of project indicating Mary's services would no longer be needed.
2) Has the employer/employee relationship changed over the course of time? If so, how?The change in the role from independent contractor to employee took place when the company supervisor requested her to use company equipment on company property and to perform the work during scheduled company hours.
Mary's role of independent contractor came to an end based on her restriction to perform programming tasks for any other company due to the now set restrictions of location and specific work schedule set by the Little Lamb Company supervisor for the two-year timeframe until she was released due to budget cuts. When the supervisor chose to hire a family member 30 days after releasing Mary for the same role, a breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing incurred as Mary was in reality a long-term employee for the past two years terminated for no other reason other than budgetary cuts (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007).
3) Was Mary's release legal under the doctrine of employment-at-will? Why or why not? If not, which of the following exceptions to employment-at-will have been violated? Why?a) Breach of public...