Select Page

Employment Law
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Anderson, Cheryl L.

Employment Law – Anderson
Labor Law = Collective
Employment Law = Individualized
Basic Themes
            Employment At Will
                        Can fire for no reason
                        Cannot fire for “bad” reasons
Freedom of Contract (free market)
                        Theoretically equal bargaining power    (practically unequal)
            Conservative (narrow interpretation) v. Progressive (broad interpretation of cases)
            Causes of Action
                        Tort, K, Discharge in violation of public policy
            Absent a K = “employment at-will”
                        UNLESS evidence to the contrary
            Clarke – ER free to impose conditions; discharge EE at any time; & in anyway
            Civil Service Jobs
                        Serve the public
                        Government as ER – limited by CN
                        Reasonable basis for the rule is okay
                        Limits of politics in employment
                                    Limits on political activity
                                                (Hatch Act)
                                                            Fired only if promote efficiency of service (good cause)
                        Rutan – political affiliation not a valid criteria; patronage is bad
                                                Government must have a vital interest (such as policymaking)
                                    BALANCING TEST:
                                                EE’s Interest v. Governmental Interest
                                                1st Amend                               vital interest, narrowly tailored       
                                                Free speech                             only for policy-makers
                                                Punishing for exercising rts.
                                                Coerce to exercise a certain way
                        Public employment has more guidelines that private because gov’t is ER
                                    If Government is ER, then Rutan Balancing Test =
balance EE’s Interests v. Gov’tal Interest
                                                                                                (must be narrowly tailored)
            Employee v. Independent Contractor
                        If IC, can avoid most EE laws    (K for $ for services)
                        Donovan Test – Fair Labor Standards Act Test for Employee
                                    ECONOMIC REALITIES TEST
                                                Defined (203(e)(1)) = any individual employed by ER
                                                1) Degree of ER’s right to control
                                                            “in house” = more expectation of degree of control
                                                2) EE’s opportunity for profit on managerial skill
                                                            Do more = more $
                                                3) Investment by EE
                                                4) Special Skill needed
                                                            Less skill = more fungible     more skill = more marketable
                                                5) Degree of permanence
                                                            Transfer of services = 2+ ER’s = low permanence
                                                6) Services an integral part of the business
                                                            “Vital to operation”
                                                7) Dependency on business
                                                            Dependent for continued employment
                                    COMMON LAW TEST FOR EMPLOYEE   (RSTMT of Agency)
                                    1) Control over details
                                    2) Skill in particular occupation
                                    3) Does person supply own stuff
                                    4) Distinct job
                                    5) Is work usu. supervised
                                    6) Length of working there
                                    7) $ by the hour or by the job
                                    8) work is regular b’ness of ER
                                    9) belief that parties are creating master/servant relationship
                                    10) principal is or is not in the b’ness
                        HYBIRD TEST   (combines some of both)    ON TWEN
                        IL & 7th Cir. decisions on EE Tests WESTLAW CITE = 9-NovCBA REC.20
            Even if parties don’t want to create EE status, the ct. can determine otherwise
                        Look to relative bargaining power
                                    Cannot K out of minimum wage
                        “Employee” may be anybody on the ER

– Deprivation of CNal or Federal statutory rights
                                                MUST HAVE BEEN DONE BY “STATE ACTOR”
                                                Generally allege violation of EPC in 14th Amend.
                                                Requires “intent”
            Unlawful Discrimination
                        Discrimination = choice between things based upon own personal tastes
                        Unlawful discrim. = judgments that Congress (society) has made that certain
                               characteristics should be “taken off the table”
                        Griggs – ER using HS diploma to determine placement
                                    It was a “neutral test” but had a “discrim. impact”
                                Tests must be a “demonstrably reasonable measure of job performance”
                                                AND consistent w/ b’ness necessity
                                    Goal of Title VII was to “achieve employment opportunities”
                        Defenses mentioned:
                                    Business Necessity
                                    Relation to job performance
            Disparate Treatment
                        Actually treated differently
                        2 theories
                        1) Pretext   (McDonnell Douglas/Burdine/Hicks)
                        2) Mixed Motive   (Price Waterhouse)
                        Pretext  (intentional)
1) P has initial burden to show prima facie case
            a) Protected class
            b) Qualified
            c) Adverse action    (hiring = rejected)
            d) Inference of discrim    (hiring = position stayed open for other qual.)
2) ER must produce some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason
            Must show that there is a genuine issue of fact  
(jury could decide if they believe it)
                                    Burden of production   (just say it & the prima facie case disappears)
                        3) P prove real reason is discriminatory aka Pretextual