Employment contract not formed over phone when driving test required
Case name: Lang v. Leggett & Platt Inc., No. 104,243 (Kan. Ct. App. 04/08/11, unpublished).
Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the Kansas Court of Appeals held that Missouri held the proper jurisdiction for a worker's workers' compensation claim.
means: In Kansas, a phone call from an employer informing a worker that he passed his drug test and when to report for orientation does not create an employment contract if additional conditions are required for being able to work for the employer.
Summary: A worker filled out an employment application and completed an interview at a manufacturer's Missouri facility. He was told that he would have to pass a drug test and complete orientation in Missouri before he could be employed by the manufacturer. A benefits coordinator, who had no authority to hire or terminate employees, called the worker at his home in Kansas to inform him that he passed his drug test and when to report for orientation. The worker claimed this phone call consisted of a job offer. After he began work, the worker injured his neck, back, and leg while working. He sought workers' compensation in Kansas. The Kansas Court of Appeals held that it did not have jurisdiction of the worker's claim because the employment contract was formed in Missouri.
The court explained that generally an employment contract can be formed over the telephone when the acceptor voices his acceptance. However, the court concluded that in this case the employment contract was not formed during the phone call. The worker had to pass a drug test, a forklift driving test, complete orientation, and fill out paperwork as a prerequisite to his employment contract with the manufacturer. The worker completed all of these steps in Missouri.
The worker also argued that a new employment contract was formed when he was called to return to work following a layoff. The court disagreed, stating that the layoff was temporary and planned to last one week. During the two days the worker did not work, he was paid vacation, and the manufacturer continued to pay for his medical and life insurance. When he returned to work, he was not asked to fill out paperwork, take a drug test, or undergo a physical exam.
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June 2, 2011
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