Olga is a 62-year-old teller in the accounting department of the International Pirate Bank (“IPB”).
She is a loyal and dedicated employee and worked continuously for IPB for the last three years as a full- time employee (2016 to 2018).
For four years prior to that (2012 to 2015) Olga did not work because of family responsibilities (she helped her daughter and son-in-law raise their three children), but during these four years she did work part time as a teller at the Loyal Bank (a competitor of IPB). Prior to that Olga had worked for IPB as a part time teller for twenty-two years (1987 to 2009).
From June to December of 2017 Olga has made four errors in cash balancing. As a result, Olga receives a disciplinary letter from her employer on January 4, 2018. The letter warns her of disciplinary action, including possible dismissal, if the accuracy in balancing her cash each day does not improve. The letter also requires her to complete one full month of employment during which she is to make no mistakes. Olga manages to make no mistakes in that one-month period but does make a balancing error on February 5, 2018.
Her employer also finds out, through the “grapevine” (in this case, another Bank employee who works for the same volunteer organization) that she made mistakes in the 2012 income statement for Free House Inc., a volunteer society for which Olga acts as treasurer.
On February 8, 2018 Olga’s employment with the Bank is terminated. Olga is not given any notice or pay in lieu of notice of termination. At the time of termination Olga was earning $32,000 per year.
On February 9, 2018 the Manager at the local Loyal Bank branch offers Olga a teller position which pays an annual salary of $24,000.
Olga comes to you, her lawyer, for advice. Please provide her with your opinion and discuss all possible issues and arguments and remedies.
An employee or independent contract or dependent contractor?