Tuesday, October 25, 2011

O’Connor v. McDonald’s Restaurants of California, Inc.

O’Connor v. McDonald’s Restaurants of California, Inc.

Subject: Analyzes whether a person who was admittedly an employee was acting within the scope of that employment when his car collided with the Pl.’s motorcycle.

After Def.’s employee and several other employees scoured the children’s playground area of McDonald’s, working without pay in a type of voluntary contribution of work/time for advancement opportunities, him and four workers went to an employee’s house to socialize, after which he, in the early morning, drove towards his home and collided with a motorcycle.

Was it properly concluded as a matter of law that Def.’s employee’s activity in attending the gathering constitute a complete departure from a special errand from for Def. (a frolic of his own rather than mere deviation (detour)).
Deviation = question of fact.
-The master is only liable where the servant is acting in the course of his employment> if he was going out of his way, against his master’s implied commands, when driving on his master’s business, he will make his master liable; but if hew as going on a frolic of his own, without being at all on his master’s business, the master will not be liable.
[Factors to be weighed in determining whether an employee has completely abandoned pursuit of a business errand for pursuit of a personal objective]
1. His Intent
-Went to Duffer’s house intending to continue his work on the spring blitz.
2. Nature, Time and Place of his conduct.
-Gathering benefited McDonald's, occurred at employee’s house immediately after Def.’s business closed, consisted of continuation of discussion about spring blitz, and was inspired by spirit of competition engendered by Def.
3. Work he was hired to do.
-Employee was in training to become a manager | was expected to show initiative in his work for promotion.
4. Employer’s reasonable expectations.
-Def. implicitly encouraged employee to continue his special errand by conferring with fellow employees on
what they might do to win competition.
5. His freedom in performing duties.
-Employee had considerable latitude in performing his duties. Voluntary work.
6. Amount of time consumed in personal activity
-Much of discussion about McDonald’s and employment therein.
“Where the employee may be deemed to be pursuing a business errand and a personal objective simultaneously, he will still be acting within the scope of his employment.”

-Court should have denied Def.’s motion for summary judgment.

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1 comment:

  1. this is so helpful for someone in an undergrad law program who has never been exposed to this before. thanks!


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