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Canadian Commercial Law Employment and Labour Law Spot the Issue Paper

I’m studying for my Business Law class and need an explanation.


  1. Read the following scenario carefully.
  2. Once you have read the scenario, advise Mindy as to her legal position taking care to analyze any legal issues that you can identify and providing your opinion as to the likely outcome of any legal action that Mindy may be able to launch against the company.
  3. Your answer should be approximately 1,500 words in length. Use 12-point, Times New Roman font.
  4. Thoroughly address all of the steps in the IRAC formula providing complete explanations for each issue.

Assignment Scenario:

Mindy is an engineer who has recently been hired by a power generation facility located in Kelowna, BC. Mindy is told that she is being hired as an independent contractor and not an employee. She is made to sign a contract stating that she is an independent contractor but that her work activities are under the full control of her supervisors at the plant. Mindy is given an office, regular working hours, regular salary, and she is told to report to her supervisor for instructions.

After two months on the job, Mindy is unhappy with her working conditions. She has noted several issues with her workplace, including hazardous work conditions, unpaid overtime, and harassment from her superiors. She begins to discuss the concept of unionization with her fellow workers, and her colleagues decide to begin to gather signatures for a unionization vote.

On hearing about these activities, the owner of the plant tells Mindy that her hours have been cut back, and her office has been moved to the basement. He also tells her that if she continues her union activities, she will be fired. The owner reminds her that she is an independent contractor. Mindy continues her union organizing activities, and she is subsequently called into her supervisor’s office. Her supervisor explains that her contract is being terminated, and she must leave the premises immediately.

Advise Mindy as to her legal position, taking care to analyze any legal issues that you can identify, and provide your opinion as to the likely outcome of any legal action that Mindy may be able to launch against the company.

The IRAC formula:

The method you will use to answer spot the issue(s) questions in this course is the IRAC formula. The IRAC formula presents a structured way for you to organize your thinking and your answer. The formula contains the following steps:

F (FACTS): Read the case and state the facts and nothing but the facts.

I (Issues): Identify the legal issue(s) succinctly, each in one short sentence. Sample wording could be: “…whether or not there has been a breach of contract…”, etc. Use a bullet format. Use citations were applicable. No further comments are required.

R (Rule – THE LAW): Identify the law that applies to the issue(s). This may arise from legislation or from common law. For example, negligence.

A (Critical Analysis): Apply reflective thought and critical analysis to the facts and the application of the law. (This is where the money is!!!) For example, if the tort of negligence was an issue, e.g., “…whether or not there was negligence…” you would have a discussion proving or disproving there was 1) a duty owed, 2) that a breach of that duty took place, 3) and that as a result, damages flowed – three essential elements of negligence.

C (Conclusion – FINDINGS/RECOMMENDATION/CONCLUSIONS): In succinct, short sentences, state your findings for each issue. An “executive summary” of a few short sentences containing the key points supporting your position for each of the issues, is expected.

The IRAC formula is used in the grading rubric for all of the “spot the issue(s)” assignments.


This assignment is graded with a total of 100 marks. The following criteria, based on the IRAC formula, will be used to grade this assignment.

FACTS: The relevant facts of the case are clearly stated, without drawing any conclusions or providing opinions.10
ISSUES: Each of the issues has been clearly identified in succinct, short sentences.15
THE LAW: The legal rule(s) that apply to the issue(s) are identified in a bullet format, without analysis. Citations have been used as applicable.20
CRITICAL ANALYSIS: Critical thinking about the factors and their application to the law is demonstrated. Analysis on how the legal issue could be resolved is provided. The conclusion of your analysis is sound and clearly stated.40
THE FINDINGS: The conclusion of your analysis is sound and clearly stated in succinct, short sentences for each issue. An executive summary of a few sentences containing the key points/elements supporting each of the issues is provided.10
Writing: Writing is clear and well-organized and has been checked for spelling and grammar.



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