case study 12 1 independent contractor or part time employee

Independent Contractor or Part-time Employee?

The goal of this Case Study is to analyze the employment relationship between EcoSafe Landscaping and Laney James. Based on the information provided in the case you are to respond to three questions. In order to accomplish this assignment you will need to review the case and refer to the materials covered in the chapter and class discussion.

Part 1: Review the Case Summary

Independent Contractor or Part-time Employee?

EcoSafe Landscaping provides “environment-friendly” landscaping service to primarily residential clients. EcoSafe’s clients are attracted to the company because of their use of natural fertilizers and energy saving equipment. The company has grown quickly through referrals from current clients, but founder and President Elaine Caster knows that a marketing expert is needed to help ensure future business growth. Elaine is confident that EcoSafe could expand business significantly by moving beyond the residential market and finding commercial clients that want to engage vendors that are more environmentally conscience. However, Elaine does not have the time to develop an effective marketing campaign. She has decided to hire a marketing expert, but intends to start off with someone just working part-time in the role.

After an extensive search, Elaine thinks she has found the perfect candidate for the marketing position. Laney James is a marketing professional with extensive experience in the landscaping and other service industries. She worked for a similar company for ten years before starting her own marketing consulting company six years ago. While Laney has enjoyed the independence and flexibility of owning her own business, she started looking for a position within a company to give her more stability. This seems to be a perfect match as Laney also is looking for a part-time opportunity to give her the flexibility to be available in the afternoons for her school-aged children.

Elaine and Laney have thoroughly discussed the position and Elaine’s expectations. Elaine has some specific ideas on how she believes the marketing should be executed. She will rely on Laney’s professional input, but has made it clear that Laney needs Elaine’s approval before implementing any marketing campaigns. While she will be only working part-time, Elaine will provide Laney with an office including computer equipment, and Laney will share Elaine’s administrative assistant. While Laney will have some flexibility, Elaine has asked that Laney to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as these are days when most management meetings are scheduled. Finally, Elaine hopes that at some point Laney will be able to transition to full-time as the business grows.

Elaine is getting ready to further discuss the offer to Laney and is considering suggesting that the company engages her as an independent contractor instead of hiring her as an employee. As Laney already has a business established, setting her up as an independent contractor should be easier than actually hiring her as an employee. Further, Laney has indicated that she does not need EcoSafe’s health care insurance so she Elaine doesn’t see a reason for her to be hired as an employee. Because she is uncertain about the future for the position, Elaine believes that engaging Laney as an independent contractor is a good idea.

Part 2: Answer Three Questions

12.1 Why would EcoSafe prefer to engage Laney as an independent contractor?

12.2 Based on the information provided, do you think Laney should be engaged as an independent contractor and why?

12.3 What other flexible work alternative could she consider and how would these impact Laney’s compensation?

Exercise Guidelines:

  • Name and Student ID number (Last four numbers) should be typed and appear at the top of the page
  • Page Topic: “Case Study – CS12.1 – Independent Contractor or Part-time Employee” should appear under the student name
  • Minimum of one (1) page and no more than 2 (two) pages MS Word doc.
  • MS Word doc., typed in an Arial 10 point font, single spaced
  • Well written, no spelling errors or incomplete sentences
  • If appropriate, include citations
  • Restate (with the question number) and answer the questions being asked in a direct and thorough manner
  • The quality of the response is more important than the length
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