Case Study: Drive-In Theater, Inc.

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2. Was Kary acting within the scope of her employment as a peanut vendor when she added curry powder to the peanuts she was selling?
An employee is acting within the scope of his employment when he is performing tasks or duties for which he has been employed. Williams v. Cmty. Drive-In Theater, Inc., 214 Kan. 359, 364, 520 P.2d 1296, 1300 (1974). If the employee is performing tasks that are reasonably related to the purpose of their employment, this is indicative to the scope of employment. The guidelines and business practices also determine whether the employee was acting within the scope of their employment. Wayman v. Accor N. Am., Inc., 45 Kan. App. 2d 526, 531, 251 P.3d 640, 645 (2011).
“Whether the act performed by the worker was forbidden
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Kary’s job was simply to sell peanuts. The flyer that she was handed by George said to “distinguish yourself” and “be creative.” This could reasonably be interpreted to add spices to the peanuts in order to make herself stand out from all of the other peanut vendors. For several games, Kary’s spice plan was working well for her sale of peanuts. George saw the instant success when he did the final tally and was aware that Kary was selling dozens more bags after each game had ended. Also, George had it brought to his attention that “something was different about Kary’s peanuts that made them better.” However, George did not bother to look into the situation or question Kary because the company was making money not only off of peanuts, but off of drinks as well. Kary never asked permission nor did she tell George what she was doing to her batch of peanuts before the game. George or any of the other management had told Kary to add curry to the peanuts nor was it forbidden anywhere in the flyer or any other material they were given. Kary was acting reasonably within the scope of her employment with slight deviation from the normal practices from the peanut vendors. However, this slight deviation does not force her past some sort of boundary where she was acting outside the scope of her employment since it was reasonable that she would add some sort of spice or seasoning …show more content…
George will also argue that the guidelines set forth in the flyer were for uniforms and presence only. The sombrero, the megaphone, and the flashing buttons were examples of this distinguishing and being creative. Altering the ingredients of the peanuts is not reasonably within the scope of employment because the company themselves did not provide the curry powder to Kary. George will argue that adding spice to the peanuts is in a way altering the product being sold as a whole. Kary had to go and find curry powder elsewhere in order to add this extra spice to her peanuts. George will argue that had he been asked permission to add the spice he would have told her no or to warn the customers that the nuts she was selling had curry powder on them to be safe. The fact that Kary disregarded the guidelines and procedures that were set by the company is going far beyond her duties as a peanut vendor. George will argue that adding the spice is also not foreseeable due to the simplicity of the instructions given to Kary. The instructions George will discuss are that she shows up an hour before the game in uniform, pick up her carrier and bags, and to finally scoop the peanuts into the bags and sell them. That is all that the peanut vendors are supposed to do. Embellishing the uniform is done on the employee’s own time and own fashion, that is the only distinction meant to be had between the vendors. George will

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