In Ryan’s case, several legal issues come into play, including the offer and the acceptance of the contract, questions of employment law, and the agency relationship. In order to be legally valid, a contract should be agreed upon by both parties and something of value should be given for something else of value (Beesley). In this case, Ryan accepted the contract that included a salary of $13,000 per year as well as“room and board.” Ryan’s services as a home caregiver were exchanged for his salary and the option to live at Ms. Drake’s house.
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However, it is important to note that the contract did not include any agreement of Ryan to work full-time for 14 consecutive years and 12 years part-time in order to be eligible for the conveyance of Dawn’s home. Thus, the contract was only valid with regards to Ryan’s employment as a home caregiver that was compensated with a salary along with “room and board.”
While an employment contract does not have to be in written form to be valid, employees are entitled to a Written Statement of the main terms and conditions that should include any additional specifications such as working hours, holidays, and compensation procedures (ACAS).
The letter that Dawn gave to Ryan can be considered an employment contract and it was Ryan’s prerogative to review it and ask about the inclusion of additional specifications such as the conveyance of Dawn’s house after him working for fourteen consecutive years full-time and additional 12 years part-time. The fact that Ryan did not make any objections to the letter provided by Dawn suggests that he does not have enough legal ground to sue Dawn for her actions (Shirvington).
On the other hand, there was a verbal agreement between Ryan and Dawn, with the latter agreeing to move to her daughter by the time that Ryan would move to her house. Also, Dawn mentioned that she wanted Ryan to continue working for her part-time after the move, which points to her satisfaction with his services. Ms. Drake also knew about the agreement between Ryan and a contractor to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms and thus had knowledge of the fact that her caregiver used half of his savings to make the initial payment of $20,000 and was due to provide a second payment of another $20,000.
Dawn’s knowledge about the renovation is important to discuss in this case because it was her house where the improvement works were completed; therefore, if she made no objections to the renovations, she must have thought that she would move. It is recommended that Ryan and Dawn’s attorneys discuss the issue of the house owner paying $20,000 because it was legally her house where the renovations were made.
Regarding the remedies that Ryan can seek against Dawn, it is important first to determine whether she as an employer failed to disclose any material information to her employee and thus conducted a fraud (CIPD). Second, it should be determined whether Dawn had a duty to ensure that the enclosed information was accurate and not misleading (Perna 236). While Dawn did disclose that she would convey her house to Ryan, the disclosure was misleading and inaccurate because her decision shifted in a completely different direction. Ryan may seek compensational remedies against the misrepresentation of his hiring and fraud of his employer who did not keep her word.
ACAS. “Contracts of Employment.” ACAS. Web.
Beesley, Caron. “Contract Law – How to Create a Legally Binding Contract.” SBA. 2013. Web.
CIPD. “Tackling Staff Fraud and Dishonesty: Managing and Mitigating the Risks.” CIPD, 2007. Web.
Perna, Richard. “Deceitful Employers: Common Law Fraud as a Mechanism to Remedy International Employer Misrepresentation in Hiring.” Willamette Law Review, vol. 41, no. 2, 2005, pp. 233-237.
Shirvington, Virginia. “Ethics and Conflict of Interest and Duties.” Law Society. 2016. Web.