ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cases: What does "employee" mean?

South_africa_flag_2 A worker is an "employee" for purposes of the labor law when he or she signs the contract, not on the date employment is to start, according to a recent South African decision.

In the case,  Wyeth SA v. Manqele, the plaintiff was hired under a written employment contract, with actual employment to start later.  The plaintiff's contract was subsequently terminated for alleged dishonesty before the date that employment was to start.  When the plaintiff sued in the Labour Court, the employer moved to dismiss on the grounds that he was not an "employee."

The court disagreed, holding that "employee" includes anyone who is a party to a valid employment contract, whether or not actual performance under the contract has begun.

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