Mary has just graduated from LIM College and is in an interview with ABC Design Firm. ABC employees several talented designers that work with ABC retail clients to design lines of garments and accessories for those retailers as house-label goods. During the interview Mary is told that she would work for ABC but sent to various retailers to design various aspects of their lines. She would be paid per design and all designs become the property of the firm she is designing for.
1. Mary tells ABC she likes they are presenting to her but that she wants a salaried position, not being paid by design (she is concerned that the client would reject designs and therefore she wouldn't make very much money for the work she puts in). From a contractual viewpoint, can ABC still sign Mary to the pay-by-design contract they presented to her? EXPLAIN
2. ABC needs a decision from Mary by tomorrow. Mary tells ABC that she has another interview tomorrow but likes what she hears and wants to know if ABC can hold open the position till after she has her second interview. ABC says that they will and please let them know within 24 hours of her second interview. Mary goes to her second interview and decides later that day that she will sign with ABC. She turns down a lucrative offer from the second company, who then signs another designer. Mary contacts ABC and tells her that she wants to accept their offer. ABC tells Mary that they just signed another designer that really impressed them. Can Mary sue ABC for not holding the job open for her for 24 hours they agreed to? EXPLAIN why or why not.
3. From Question 2, if Mary loses her case against ABC, what could she have done that would have changed the outcome? EXPLAIN
4. Assume that Mary signs a Work-for-Hire Agreement with ABC. Mary's contract calls for her to make a salary of $50,000.00 Mary creates a line of profitable clothing and accessories for Houstrom, a client of ABC, such that it creates copiers of her creations. Mary, through ABC, asks Houstrom for a bonus for her creations that has brought in millions to the retailer and made them the talk of the industry. Houstrom denies her request and fires her, through ABC, from designing any new items for Houstrom.
- Does Houstrom owe Mary the bonus? EXPLAIN why or why not.
- Can Mary sue Houstrom for firing her? EXPLAIN why or why not.
5. Assume that ABC sends Mary to the meeting with Houstrom for them to review her work. If they like her work, they will ask ABC to send Mary to them for her to design a new line of garments and accessories. Mary wows them, sketching some ideas on paper and showing her portfolio. Houstrom tells Mary that they will be in touch. The next day Mary is told by ABC that Houstrom decided to go with another designer. Next season Mary sees some garments based on her sketches and portfolio in the display windows of Houstrom.
Can Mary sue Houstrom for using her sketches? Under what theory of contract law? EXPLAIN
1. If Mary agrees to a contract with ABC to work as a designer, does it have to be in writing? EXPLAIN your answer.
2. Assume Mary starts to work on the line for Houstrom. Houstrom, wanting to have the new line ready for the MAGIC Show in August tells Mary that if she has the designs, boards, and all samples ready at the end of July she will receive a $3,000 bonus. Mary works 18 hour days and has the line ready at the end of July. She asks for the $3,000 and is told by Houstrom that they don't owe her the money since she is required to do the work anyway. Mary sues Houstrom for the bonus money. Who will win the argument? EXPLAIN your reasoning.