Agency & Partnerships

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Agency & Partnerships

Question 1

Agent may refer to one who acts for, or in the place of, another, by authority from him; one entrusted with the business of another. Agent (law), in commercial law, is a person who is authorized to act on behalf of another (called the principal) to create a legal relationship with a third party A person who performs a task under another's authority. Agents and servants are usually, but not necessarily, tied by a contract of employment to the person for whom they perform that task. (Kleinberger,45) Some labour legislation includes penal sanctions to enforce compliance with its provisions. As regards criminal liability, not all employees may be deemed to be agents and servants: only those employees who, by virtue of their senior management function, possess effective powers to ensure that there is no penal breach of labour law are regarded as the employer's agents and servants. Such employees are management personnel carrying responsibility for the implementation of labour legislation within the enterprise.

Question 2

The common-law doctrine of respondeat superior was established in seventeenth-century England to define the legal liability of an employer for the actions of an employee. The doctrine was adopted in the United States and has been a fixture of agency law. It offers a better opportunity to really party to damages, because under respondeat superior the employer is liable for injuries caused by an employee working within the framework of his employment. The legal relationship between an employer and an employee is called agency. The employer is called the principal when engaging someone to act for him. The person who does the work for the employer is called the agent. The theory behind respondeat superior is that the principal controls the agent's behavior and must then assume some responsibility for the agent's actions. An employee is an agent for her employer to the extent that the employee is authorized to act for the employer and is partially entrusted with the employer's business. The employer controls, or has a right to control, the time, place, and method of doing work. When the facts show that an employer-employee (principal-agent) relationship exists, the employer can be held responsible for the injuries caused by the employee in the course of employment. In general, employee conduct that bears some relationship to the work will usually be considered within the scope of employment. (Harger,132) The question whether an employee was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the event depends on the particular facts of the case. The court may consider the employee's job description or assigned duties, time, place and purpose of the employee's act, the extent to which the employee's actions conformed to what he had been hired to do, and whether such an event could have been reasonably expected. The crucial question in a respondeat superior claim is whether the employee was acting within the scope of employment: Was the employee involved in some activity related to the job? In 1991 the Supreme Court of ...
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