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Who Do We Go To For Arbitration?

We had a couple apply for a camp host job the other day, and try to get us to hire them as contractors rather than employees.  This is not that unusual, since there are a number of reasons someone might prefer this relationship, most of which involve evading taxes.  We, by policy, generally won't play this game, particularly for full time employees. 

What was different in this case was that the couple showed up with a ready-made contract.  What caught the eye of some of my managers was this clause of the contract:

Applicable Law: This Agreement and Contract is governed by the Law of God, also known as Biblical Law, Natural Law, and Christian Common Law, and, barring any conflict with Natural Law, the Common Law Right of Contract.

Hmmm.  So who do we go to with disputes?  Moses?  Maybe King Solomon? 

Posted on April 3, 2007 at 05:17 PM | Permalink


This sounds a lot like a Christian Libertarian to me. A rare breed, but they exist. I consider myself one (though not sure I'd necessarily propose a contract like the one mentioned).

Posted by: CRC | Apr 3, 2007 6:41:20 PM

The only thing funnier than Dowd trying to tackle this might be Rosie, DiCaprio or Gore!

Posted by: Jeff | Apr 4, 2007 9:59:16 AM

I wouldn't touch that proposition with a ten cubit stick.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 4, 2007 3:47:33 PM

I would be willing to conjecture that the contract they offered also declared them to be Free or Soverign citizens of either the United States or some state. This kind of language is often used by tax protesters who claim that they renounce the definition of citizen as contained in the Fourteenth Amendment, and thus all government acts passed afterwards, including the Federal income tax, do not apply to them.

Posted by: Dan | Apr 4, 2007 4:51:55 PM

Though I cannot speak for this couple, who might be completely forthright, my general experience and the general experience of others if you dig far enough is that those who use such clauses, particularly the "Free and Sovreign Citizens" wording often have a very 'flexible' understanding of the application of contracts; as in they decide whether a contract applies to them or not. I would be wary to hire them.

Posted by: ElamBend | Apr 8, 2007 4:37:01 PM

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