Job title inflation

In our previous dealings he had been working as a sales executive. Now, having moved to a different company, he grabbed my attention with a small detail at the foot of his email.

Job title inflation

Pae, ACC Introduction It should be recalled from Part I that job title inflation is the result of more and more employees, even those that are in the lower echelons of the corporate hierarchy, who are holding titles that convey seniority.

Part I posited that this practice could be traced to the recent recession and to the advent of flatter organizational structures in a growing number of business entities.

While Part I focused on employees, this Quick Counsel, Part II of the series, revolves around the legal risks of job title inflation in the context of the relationship between independent contractors and employers that hire them.

It will examine the risk to employers of being found liable, through apparent or ostensible agency, for the conduct of their independent contractors. It will also provide an overview on how job title inflation may adversely affect employers in lawsuits where an independent contractor claims employee status and employee benefits.

In the context of job title inflation, apparent agency becomes relevant in situations where an organization awards a job title to an outside, independent contractor.

This would likely happen in scenarios where an organization retains the services of a contractor on a long-term basis, during which period the organization clothes the contractor with a title that traditionally is given to management-level and other employees.

The determination of whether apparent agency exists is fact- and circumstance-specific, and there is neither a bright-line rule that governs nor a particular factor whose presence is dispositive in the determination. Another example is Lindstrom v. Minnesota Liquid Fertilizer Co.

Despite the fact that job title alone is not dispositive in establishing the presence of ostensible agency, it is a factor that bears upon the totality of circumstances and upon the manner by which courts view those circumstances.

To minimize the risk, and to eliminate all the possible factors that a court may view as evidence of ostensible agency in future litigation, employers should intelligently choose the titles that they give to independent contractors.

While clothing an independent contractor with a title that reasonably leads third parties to believe that the contractor is an employee is not dispositive in determining whether an employer-employee relationship exists, it is one factor that might tip the scales toward that result.

The outcome of cases whose resolution is predicated on factor-balancing tests can be difficult to predict, and maintaining a full armory of factors that favor your side is the best practice to implement; thoughtless conferral of inflated titles, especially on independent contractors, makes it easier for courts to hold against the employer.

Recommendations and Conclusion In tough economic times, conferral of arguably inflated job titles may be beneficial from a business point of view.

Job title inflation

An article from Wharton School of Business once highlighted that the value of inflated titles is in employee retention. To avoid the legal risks attendant to job title inflation as to independent and outside contractors, they should not be titled in a way that would make them or third parties believe that they are employees who are authorized to act on behalf of the employer.

But this positive business result should be balanced against the risk of opening the organization to potential legal liability.

In most instances under this scenario, the legal risks are just too high that foregoing some of the business benefits might well be worth it.

Job title inflation

Inflating titles is not inherently evil so long as exercised in moderation.The snag is that the familiar problems of monetary inflation apply to job-title inflation as well. The benefits of giving people a fancy new title are usually short-lived.

The harm is long-lasting. May 14,  · The reason for a title being given to someone varies by company, but in my experience the title rarely has anything to do with the actual pay or job duties. That's why every role also has "and other duties as required" tacked onto the end.

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For Personal use:

Poo-bah (right), in the comic opera The Mikado, holds many grand titles including First Lord of the Treasury, Master of the Buckhounds, Groom of the Backstairs and Lord High Everything Else.

Job title inflation is the. Job title inflation is the phenomenon resulting from the increasing frequency with which firms and organizations confer upon their employees job titles that tend to convey superiority or seniority, like "Chief of ____" and "VP of _____.".

Poo-bah (right), in the comic opera The Mikado, holds many grand titles including First Lord of the Treasury, Master of the Buckhounds, Groom of the Backstairs and Lord High Everything Else.

Job title inflation is the increasing number and size of grandiose job titles in corporations and organisations. A review of some of the legal issues inherent in job title inflation, with a focus on apparent authority liability and employee misclassification.

The Legal Pitfalls of Job Title Inflation (Part II)