You are the sole arbitrator whose assignment is to resolve a legal dispute between Pretty Penny, Manager Marcus, and the proprietor of Tasty Treats, Owner Oswald in the scenario detailed below. Your charge is to render a verdict based upon your understanding of American law as it applies to agency and partnership in an employment setting based upon your textbook reading from this and prior weeks. You are to decide who should be responsible for any damages due to Pretty Penny because of this incident. Should Manager Marcus or Owner Oswald be solely liable to pay monetary damages to Pretty Penny, or is there some combination of liability between them? Please write a ruling that details your answer, and explains how and why you reached the conclusion that you did. You should both address the issue of what the damage award should be, if any, as well as how those damages should be divided between the charged parties if they are awarded.
It has been quite a whirlwind for Oswald Owner the past few months. Six months ago, his Uncle suddenly died and left to him 100% interest in a series of businesses, including a small pastry shop located in South Bend, Indiana called "Tasty Tarts." Oswald, having his own life and affairs to attend to, as well as his Uncle's other business concerns, has not had time to visit Tasty Tarts, or to personally manage that business interest.
Instead, he retained his Uncle's long-time employee, Manager Marcus, and put him in charge, telling him, "I am sure you will do a good job, and I don't have the time to come oversee everything right now. Just keep the customers happy, and make sure to keep doing what you have been doing by following my Uncle's previous policies and procedures for managing everything."
Manager Marcus accepted this responsibility. He knew that now that he was "in charge," he could change things up and start to implement some new business models and business ideas, in order to really grow and develop the business beyond what Oswald's Uncle had done previously.
Manager Marcus decided to start a brand new breakfast delivery program for customers that live in the immediate area. After all, he figured he could leave the shop in the hands of the other employees for a few hours in the morning while he made his delivery rounds, and that providing personal attention and his winning personality directly to the customer base would only make the business better.
On the first day of their home delivery service, Manager Marcus went to the home of longtime Tasty Tarts customer Pretty Penny. Marcus had always admired Pretty Penny's puckered lips and other physical attributes, but he had never been able to talk to her in a personal way, as Oswald's Uncle had a strong policy against any fraternization with the customers by Tasty Tarts employees. Manager Marcus had always disliked that policy, and he was confident that he and Pretty Penny with the puckered lips would be perfect for one another.
Manager Marcus knocked on Pretty Penny's door to deliver her morning breakfast order of espresso and a scone. When Pretty Penny answered the door, Marcus told her that he had her breakfast order, as well as a special complimentary treat from Tasty Tarts for her delight, but she had to close her eyes to receive this special surprise gift. Being the trusting sort, Pretty Penny immediately closed her eyes and held her hands out to receive her special surprise. Much to her dismay, the surprise was not a Tasty Treat, but instead a big kiss placed right on her puckered lips.
Unfortunately for all involved, Pretty Penny was not pleased to have received this gift. She immediately made a complaint to the authorities, and filed suit against Manager Marcus and Tasty Tarts for this unprovoked and unsolicited assault.?
Comments from the involved parties:
Proprietor of Tasty Treats; Male
I should not have to pay any money. I clearly told Marcus to follow my Uncle's rules and regulations, not to start engaging in new business practices and trying to date the customers. I cannot be responsible for employee conduct that is clearly against organizational policy and occurs off the premises. Manager Marcus's conduct is too far removed from his employment duties to make the organization responsible.
Chief Executive of the Tasty Treats Shop; Male
I don't even know what the big fuss is about. I was just trying to brighten a young girl's day. Regardless, Oswald told me that I was in charge because he was too busy to check in on the shop, and that I needed to keep the customers happy. We had a slew of customer requests for home delivery for breakfast, and I thought that giving Pretty Penny a surprise gift would make her happy. I am sorry that such action backfired, but I was just trying to do what I thought was right for Tasty Treats and my job, based on the information and direction I was given. If Oswald had such a problem with what I was doing, then maybe he should have stopped by at some point, or provided better directives.
Customer of Tasty Treats; Female
I do like Tasty Treats, but I do not like surprise kisses. I just wanted a breakfast delivery delight, not a morning creepy kiss. I think a business has to be responsible for the conduct of their employees, and be accountable when those employees do something wrong. However, I do think that employees should follow the policies and procedures that organizations provide to them, and it is their own fault if they get in trouble for doing things that they are not supposed to be doing.
This question was answered on: Sep 18, 2020
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