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law of master and servant

law of master and servant

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Published by anchal1987

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: anchal1987 on Feb 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Master and servant is a term used to describe the legal relationship between an employer (master) and employee (servant) for purposes of determining an employer's liability for acts of an employee. A master and servant relationship is determined based upon the amount of controlthe employer exercises over the service provide by the employee. A master will be liable for actsof an employee committed while within the scope of employment. Such liability attaching to anemployer due to acts of an employee is called vicarious liability.This is distinguished from a relationship between an employer and independent contractor. Anemployer is generally not vicariously liable for acts of an independent contractor, whether or notthey were done within the scope of employment.
Mutual Obligations of Master and Servant
Please note that the original version is split into two paragraphs only, which would have made itdifficult to read online.MASTER AND SERVANT, MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS OF. - It is universally admitted that agood master makes a good servant; and one of the best signs of a proper understanding existing between the employer and the employed is furnished by servants remaining for a lengthened period in the same situations. A master should treat his servant with firmness but not withseverity; he should lead his servant to understand that when to once ordered anything to be done,he expected it to be promptly and properly obeyed, without being compelled to reiterate theorder. A servant should be paid at a fair and just rate for his services. A master should carefullyavoid commissioning his servant in questionable offices, as, for instance, inducing him to tell afalsehood, or ordering him to commit some mean act by which a petty advantage may be gained.By such a course of conduct all moral restraint will be lost, and the servant will in all probabilityavail himself of similar acts against his master's interest.Family quarrels and disputes with any member of the househould never be carried on in the presence of a servant; such displays have a tendency to lessen the parties in the eyes of theservant, and encourage acts of insubordination. No master should make a confidant of hisservant, or intrust him with any secret to his prejudice; this at once gives a servant undueimportance, and leads him to take liberties which he would not otherwise dare to contemplate.Some allowance should b« made for the feelings and sufferings of a servant; thus, when he isovertaken by illness, or visited with affliction, he should be treated with merciful consideration;such a concession is never thrown away, for should an employer subsequently share a similar fate, he will find in his servant a sincere sympathizer and a watchful attendant. Servants should be indulged in occasional holidays and hours of relaxation; under these conditions, labour will be performed with more alacrity and greater interest.
The duties of a servant towards his employer 
may be summed as follows: He should implicitlyobey the orders given him, without murmur or dissent. He should also endeavour to gain aknowledge of his employer's habits, and anticipate his wishes, so as to spare the necessity of 
 being continually reminded of duties which he is sure to be called upon to perform. A servantshould avoid giving himself airs of consequence, or acting or speaking impertinently; suchconduct only serves to display his ignorance, and an unfitness for the situation he holds. Allduties should be performed as conscientiously in the employer's absence as in his presence; eye-service is a species of hypocrisy which must be sooner or later detected, with very humiliatingconsequences. A servant should act with the same zeal and probity on his employer's behalf as hewould for his own; any petty advantage gained by aa opposite course a more thancounterbalanced by the guilty consciousness of wrong, and may be attended by an irretrievableloss of character.Whatever is done or said by the members of a family, which may be repeated to their prejudice,should never be carried beyond the walls of the house; a servant who circulates gossip andscandal respecting the household in which he lives, is unworthy of his trust, and brands himself as a domestic spy and a traitor. Harsh expressions and hasty words, occasionally addressed by anemployer to his servant, should be overlooked instead of being resented. This is sometimesdifficult of observance, but it never fails to be appreciated, and will invariably win respect andesteem.A servant should always be true to his promise; thus when he is permitted leave of absence oncondition that he return at a stated time, he should be back at his post to the minute; any extraliberty taken beyond that stipulated for is calculated to irritate an employer, and by shaking hisconfidence, renders him reluctant to grant a like indulgence on a future occasion. Truthfulnessand stralghtforward conduct should be ever observed; when a servant has committed an error, or has met with some mishap in the performance of his duties, he should not endeavour to screenhimself by subterfuge and misrepresentation, but at once acknowledge the fault he hascommitted, or reveal the accident that has befallen him.A servant should be cheerful and willing, and content with the station which has been assignedhim; he should remember that there must of necessity be some grades in life lower than others;and, in order that he may reconcile himself to this order of things, he should contrast his lot withthat of thousands who are much worse situated than himself; and find comfort in the fact that heis spared the responsibilities and vexations which attach themselves to the higher spheres of society.A
is anyone who works for another individual, the
, with or without pay. Themaster and servant relationship only arises when the tasks are performed by the servant under thedirection and control of the master and are subject to the master's knowledge and consent.A servant is unlike an agent, since the servant has no authority to act in his or her employer's place. A servant is also distinguishable from anIndependent Contractor , who is an individualentering into an agreement to perform a particular job through the exercise of his or her ownmethods and is not subject to the control of the individual by whom he or she was hired.The master and servant relationship arises out of an express contract; the law, however, willsometimes imply a contract when none exists if a person was led to believe there was one by theconduct of both the employer and the employee. No contract exists, however, unless both master 
and servant consent to it. The contract can contain whatever terms and conditions the partiesagree to, provided they are legal. It is essential that the terms be sufficiently definite so as to beenforceable by a court in the event that the contract is breached. An employment contract islegally enforceable by the award of damages against either party who breaks it. No employmentcontract, however, can be enforced by compelling the employee to work, since that wouldconstituteInvoluntary Servitude, which is proscribed by the U.S. Constitution.Federal and state laws regulate certain conditions of employment, such as minimum wages,maximum hours, overtime pay, time off for religious observances, and the safety of the work environment. Statutes ordinarily restrict employment of children, and federalCivil Rightslaws prohibit employment discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.Employment agencies are generally licensed and regulated, due to the risk that dishonestagencies might come into existence.
Duties of Master and Servant
The general rule is that a master may hire and fire servants; however, this is limited to a certainextent by the law. An employee cannot be discharged for a reason not permitted by his or her employment contract or the collective bargaining agreement that may govern the employment;nor can the person be fired because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, anemployer cannot fire an employee who is exercising certain rights, such as filing a discriminationcomplaint with a governmental agency or filing for worker's compensation benefits.An employee can be discharged for misappropriating funds, being unfaithful to his or her employer's interest, refusing to perform services that were agreed upon in a contract, or for beinghabitually late or absent. An employee cannot be fired for insubordination for refusing tosubscribe to unlawful directives from his or her employer, nor can the employee be required to perform such illegal tasks as committing perjury or handling stolen property. A suit for damagesmay be brought against an employer who wrongfully discharges an employee.An employee has the obligation to be honest and faithful in the performance of duties. Whentrade secrets are disclosed to an employee, he or she must not reveal them to others either prior or subsequent to employment. In some cases, an employment contract specifies that theemployer owns any new ideas or inventions created by the employee during the period oemployment. When this is true, the employee has no rights in the idea or invention nor any rightto ask for additional compensation.
An employee can enter into an agreement to work without compensation, but in the absence of such an agreement, an employer must pay an employee at the agreed rate. The employer cannotdelay payment of wages or substitute something other than money unless the employee assents.The employee is entitled to his or her wages as long as the work is completed. If an employer wrongfully discharges an employee, the employee can collect all the money the employer hadagreed to pay him or her.

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