Spokane Washington attorneys must determine several things before trying to recover damages against an employer. Damages caused by an employee could be recovered against the employer under the legal theory of Respondeat Superior. Lawyers determine the following:
A. Who is an employee?
Employee versus Independent Contractor
It is important to distinguish between individuals who are employees and those who are independent contractors.
Individuals and organizations are responsible for wrongs committed by employees, but are not responsible for wrongs of independent contractors.The distinction between an employee and an independent contractor can be blurred.
The ultimate issue is how much "control" the employer has over the manner in which the individual performs her work. The greater the degree of control, the more likely that the individual is an employee.
When Spokane, Washington, attorneys determine if a hired party is an employee or an independent contractor, they consider the following factors:
B. Was the activity within the scope of employment?
Spokane Washington attorneys know that for wrongs of an employee to be imputed (or transferred) to the employer, they must have occurred within the scope of employment.
Activities are within the scope of employment if they occur within the course of carrying out job requirements. Some activities are clearly within the scope of employment, while other activities are ancillary to scope of employment.
Once the court determines that an activity is ancillary, the court must determine whether that activity is frolic or detour.
If an employer is found vicariously liable for an employee’s wrong doing, the employer is entitled to be indemnified. Indemnification results in the employee reimbursing the employer for damages resulting from the employee’s behavior.
Note: If Spokane, Washington, attorneys find that Respondeat Superior applies means that an injured plaintiff can sue an employer for wrongs committed by their employee.
This may be important to an injured party because, although an employee may be liable for her own wrong, she may not have the financial resources to compensate the plaintiff for damages awarded by the court. Thus, a finding that Respondeat Superior applies means that the plaintiff can collect damages from the employer, and, as discussed on the links below, the employer can seek to be indemnified by the employee.
More about Workers Compensation Law:
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505 N. Argonne Rd., Suite B-109, Spokane Valley, WA 99212